US team named
Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Natalie Coughlin will headline the US swim team at this year’s world championships in Shanghai, the last major international meet before next year’s London Olympics. Phelps and Lochte are set to swim four individual events each. Phelps could qualify for at least two of the three relays, while Lochte is set to swim at least one. Besides Coughlin, the women’s team includes Katie Hoff, who failed to make the 2009 world team; three-time Olympian Amanda Beard, who returns after having a baby; and Teresa Crippen, whose brother Fran, an open water swimmer, died last month at a meet in the Middle East. Eddie Reese of Texas will coach the men’s team, while Frank Busch of Arizona will coach the women.
Alan Smith out for season
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew revealed on Thursday that injury-hit midfielder Alan Smith is likely to miss the rest of the season following a flare-up of an old ankle injury. Smith, 30, suffered a knock in last weekend’s derby draw against Sunderland and underwent a scan on Wednesday that revealed the complaint was linked to a previous ankle injury. “It’s sad news for Alan because it’s an ankle he’s had problems with and we think he’ll probably be out for the rest of the season,” Pardew said. “Because he’s had a dislocation and a break on that ankle before, when you get a heavy blow like he did, it’s a very low recovery rate.” Pardew also revealed that he would be without Andy Carroll for another three weeks, ruling him out of this weekend’s match against Tottenham at St James Park.
AC Milan beats Bari 3-0
AC Milan routed Bari 3-0 in the Italian Cup on Thursday with Antonio Cassano making his first start since joining from Sampdoria. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alexander Merkel scored in the first half and Robinho found the net in the second to take Milan into the quarterfinals. Cassano lined up alongside Ibrahimovic and Robinho in attack and created chances for the Swede and fullback Massimo Oddo before he made way for Andrea Pirlo after 65 minutes. Milan’s defense easily contained Bari, though Vitalii Kutuzov and Jose Castillo both had good chances to score.
Roma’s Adriano breaks arm
AS Roma’s Brazilian striker Adriano broke his right arm in Wednesday’s Italian Cup win over city rivals Lazio, the Serie A club said in a statement on Thursday. The statement gave no indication of how long he would be out for, but media reports said he would miss at least a month’s action. Adriano, who also dislocated his shoulder in the same incident, had been linked in the media with a possible move back to Brazil in this month’s transfer window given his lack of playing time, but he now looks set to stay put.
Khawaja joins Derbyshire
Promising Australian batsman Usman Khawaja will hone his skills with Derbyshire in the upcoming English domestic season after signing a deal with the county side. The Pakistan-born Khawaja became the first Muslim to play Test cricket for Australia when he made his debut this month in the fifth Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Khawaja, who boasts six first-class centuries an an average of a fraction over 50, made 37 and 21 in Sydney, showing impressive poise under pressure in a match Australia lost by an innings.
Fleischmann out for season
The Colorado Avalanche will be without Czech left wing Tomas Fleischmann for the rest of the season after he was diagnosed with a blood clot in his lung. The condition was discovered on Thursday after Fleischmann experienced shortness of breath. Team physician David Mellman said the 26-year-old will be on blood thinners for several months and will be “unable to play hockey during this time.” He has been a steady scoring threat since his arrival from the Washington Capitals on Nov. 30, compiling 21 points in 22 games.
Stosur to lead Aussies
World No. 6 Samantha Stosur will lead the Australian team named yesterday for next month’s Fed Cup World Group tie against Italy in Hobart, Australia. Stosur will be joined by Jarmila Groth (No. 34), Anastasia Rodionova (67) and Rennae Stubbs (No. 9 in doubles) for the Feb. 5 to Feb. 6 tie. Australian Fed Cup captain David Taylor said Stosur, Groth and Rodionova were chosen ahead of Jelena Dokic (137) and Alicia Molik (134) in singles on their year-round performances. “Normally the team picks itself but this year we waited until now because Alicia and Jelena were still in the Australian Open draw,” Taylor said. He said Australia was playing the best team in Fed Cup for the last half decade.
Camby has knee surgery
Portland Trail Blazers center Marcus Camby had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Thursday and will miss about three weeks, the team said. Camby is averaging 5.9 points and 11.3 rebounds in 39 games this season. Camby, who is in his 15th NBA season, said via Twitter that the surgery to repair a torn meniscus was successful. Camby’s injury was another blow for Portland. Guard Brandon Roy had arthroscopic surgery on both of his knees on Monday after missing 16 games because of pain in the joints. The Trail Blazers are also without center Greg Oden, who is out for the season after undergoing microfracture knee surgery.
DeRozan to dunk again
Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan will replace injured Brandon Jennings of Milwaukee in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest on the eve of next month’s 60th NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles, the league announced on Thursday. Jennings, who had been the Bucks’ top scorer, underwent surgery on a broken left foot surgery and is expected to miss another month in rehabilitation ahead of the Feb. 19 contest. DeRozan was last year’s Slam Dunk runner-up and received the only perfect score of the competition in the opening round of the contest. Los Angeles Clippers rookie Blake Griffin, whose dunks have become popular YouTube video fare, will be the favorite in the event, which also includes Washington’s JaVale McGee and Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka.
Thomas out eight weeks
Charlotte Bobcats forward Tyrus Thomas will miss eight weeks with a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee that will require surgery, the team said on Thursday. Thomas was a late scratch from Thursday night’s game against Philadelphia. Thomas experienced swelling in his knee following the team’s morning practice and the injury was revealed following an MRI scan, the team said on its Web site. Thomas has averaged 11.1 points and 5.8 rebounds in 34 games this season.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is buying the Forum for US$400 million, ending the billionaire’s legal fight with Madison Square Garden Co (MSG) and clearing the way to build a new arena for his NBA team down the street in Inglewood, California. Ballmer on Tuesday announced his cash purchase of the venerated arena. Ballmer, a former Microsoft executive, and Clippers vice chairman Dennis Wong are making the transaction through CAPSS LLC, a newly formed entity that would continue to operate the Forum as a live music venue. “This is an unprecedented time, but we believe in our collective future,” Ballmer said.
DISSENT: The US track and field body joined sports officials in Norway and Brazil, as well as Indian athletes, in calling on the IOC to postpone the Tokyo Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 organizers have started drafting possible alternatives to holding the Olympics this summer, two sources familiar with the talks said, in contrast to the Japanese government’s stance that postponement is not an option. While the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted sports events around the world, Japan has been steadfast in saying that the Games would go on. A Japanese government spokesman on Wednesday said that Tokyo was not preparing for postponement. “Finally, we have been asked to make a simulation in case of a postponement,” said one of the sources, an official close to the organizing committee who is involved in drafting the
EXPENDITURE: Tokyo Games organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said that ‘additional expenses are going to be quite massive’ to reschedule the Olympics The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is working with sports bodies to arrange a July-to-August window next year for the postponed Tokyo Olympics and hopes to confirm the schedule within a month, Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun reported yesterday. John Coates, head of the IOC’s coordination commission for the Tokyo Olympics, told the newspaper that the Games would have to be held between the tennis Grand Slams of Wimbledon, scheduled to end in mid-July, and the US Open, which starts in late August. “We want to more or less finalize the dates in four weeks’ time,” the newspaper quoted Coates as saying. Coates, who is also
PROUD, BUT BOWING OUT: The Dallas center missed all of 2018 due to Guillain-Barre syndrome, but Travis Frederick returned to be a standout again last season Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick on Monday stunningly announced his retirement. Frederick, who turned 29 on Wednesday last week, was a Pro Bowl selection in five of his six NFL seasons. Frederick revealed his retirement in a lengthy letter, beginning it by writing: “After much consideration, discussion, and reflection, I have decided to retire from football. This was not an easy decision.” Frederick cited his bout with autoimmune disease Guillain-Barre syndrome as a factor. He missed the 2018 season due to the illness in which the body’s immune system attacks the nervous system, but he returned to be a standout again last