McKinnon in induced coma
Newcastle Knights forward Alex McKinnon has been placed in an induced coma after emergency surgery to a broken neck, the Australian rugby league club’s chief executive said. McKinnon was left with two fractured vertebrae in his neck after landing on his head in a tackle in a National Rugby League match on Monday. “He’s been in an induced coma just to help with the recovery from the surgery and to make sure there is no movement there,” Knights chief executive Matt Gidley told News Ltd media. “The scans showed the spinal cord was not cut, but they are still determining what damage might have been done there. It’s just a real anxious time at the moment.” The Melbourne Storm tacklers — Jordan McLean and brothers Kenny and Jesse Bromwich — were put on report after the incident. McLean had been stood down for this weekend’s match against the Bulldogs in Perth and referred to a judiciary panel for a “dangerous throw” tackle, but the league decided to defer the hearing out of respect for McKinnon and his family.
Doctors face homicide trial
Three doctors are to be tried for negligent homicide after the death of AS Livorno midfielder Piermario Morosini in a game in April 2012, a court in the city of Pescara announced on Tuesday. Pescara doctor Ernesto Sabatini, Livorno’s Manlio Porcellini and Vito Molfese of the emergency services will go on trial, starting on Dec. 1. According to a commission of experts interviewed as part of the investigation, the use of the defibrillator available at the stadium on the day of Morosini’s death could have saved his life. Morosini, who was playing for Livorno on loan from Serie A side Udinese, collapsed on the pitch during a Serie B game at Delfino Pescara 1936 on April 14, 2012. Morosini suffered from a cardiomyopathy, or a rare genetic heart muscle condition, according to a 250-page report into his death. He was also reportedly not helped by the fact that the ambulance attending to him was delayed because of a security car parked in front of an emergency exit.
Kewell to hang up his boots
Harry Kewell, acclaimed as Australia’s greatest-ever player, announced his retirement yesterday after 18 years in the game. The former Leeds United, Liverpool and Galatasaray star said it was time to call it quits. He is set to play his last game for Melbourne Heart in Australia’s A-League on April 12. “I felt it was the right time to go out on my terms,” the 35-year-old told a press conference. Kewell, whose latter years were beset by injuries, said fitness had not played any part in his decision to hang up his boots. “The body’s great. I wanted to be able to finish where I could still do things outside of football, all the things I couldn’t do as a footballer. I can do these things now,” he said. Kewell scored 17 goals in 56 internationals.
Porto Alegre bill passed
Lawmakers in southern Brazil have approved a bill that World Cup organizers say is needed to allow Porto Alegre to continue as one of the tournament’s 12 host cities. Tuesday’s approval came a day after Porto Alegre Mayor Jose Fortunati warned that the city was in danger of being excluded because of the delay in the vote. The bill authorizes tax exemptions for firms interested in funding temporary facilities at Porto Alegre’s stadium to house media, sponsors and technical teams. The first match in Porto Alegre is France versus Honduras on June 15.