Pro Bowl voting finalized
Kansas City and San Francisco each have had eight players voted into the Pro Bowl, including running backs Jamaal Charles of the Chiefs and Frank Gore of the 49ers. Denver quarterback Peyton Manning was selected to his 13th Pro Bowl after receiving the most votes among fans, 1.43 million. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees was second among fans with 1.2 million votes. The National Football League (NFL) combines votes from fans, players and coaches to determine 86 of 88 Pro Bowl players; the other two players are long-snappers selected by Pro Bowl coaches. Voting ended on Thursday. Under a new format this year, NFL greats Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders will divide the players in a two-day draft before the Jan. 26 game. Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman received 552,600 votes by fans, the most for any defensive player. Houston defensive end J.J. Watt had just under 410,000 fan votes. Atlanta, Green Bay, Jacksonville and both New York teams had no players selected.
Federer gets ‘hero’ Edberg
Roger Federer on Friday announced that his “childhood hero” Stefan Edberg is to become part of his coaching team at the Australian Open and for the 10 weeks after the season’s first Grand Slam. Edberg, a former world No. 1 and a six-time major winner, had been hitting with Federer over the winter as the Swiss gears up for what could be a make-or-break season. “Stefan was my childhood hero, and I am really looking forward to spending time and learning from him,” said Federer, the 17-time major winner, but whose ranking is now down at No. 6 in the world. Edberg, 47, won the Australian Open in 1985 and 1987, Wimbledon in 1988 and 1990, and back-to-back US Opens in 1991 and 1992.
Fritz out after accident
Toulouse center Florian Fritz will be out of action for at least two months after sustaining an arm injury in a road traffic accident, club manager Guy Noves said on Friday. “Florian had an accident with his motorbike and has broken an arm or had a dislocation,” Noves said ahead of today’s Top 14 clash with Bayonne. “He will be unavailable for at least two months.” Fritz has enjoyed a fine season to date, playing in 13 of the 14 Top 14 games that Toulouse have played so far, as well as all four European Cup games. He also has been a first choice for France at international level, being selected nine times by coach Philippe Saint-Andre, seven of which was as a starter. The injury will mean Fritz will miss several club games in the Top 14 and European Cup, and will likely be unavailable for France in the first games of the Six Nations.
Darren Bravo quits tour
The West Indies suffered a blow on the eve of the second one-day international (ODI) against New Zealand with the loss of key batsman Darren Bravo. Bravo has returned home to Trinidad “for personal reasons,” a team spokesman said. The left-hander, whose career-best 218 was pivotal in saving the first Test for the West Indies, scored 14 when the West Indies won the first ODI in Auckland on Boxing Day by two wickets. The second of five ODIs is in Napier today. Bravo will not be replaced in the West Indies squad for the remaining four ODIs, with star batsman Chris Gayle expected to join the squad in time for the two Twenty20 matches. Gayle is in Sydney, recovering from a hamstring injury.