Rafael Nadal's return to tennis competition, scheduled for Thursday, has been delayed by a stomach virus.


Virus delays Nadal’s return

Rafael Nadal’s return to competition has been delayed by a stomach virus.

The 26-year-old Spaniard was scheduled to play in an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi on Thursday after missing seven months because of tendinitis in his left knee. But he said on his Facebook page Tuesday his doctors ordered him to pull out when he was running a fever, telling him his body needed rest.

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“My rehab has gone well, my knee feels good and I was looking forward to competing,” he said.

Nadal, a winner of 11 Grand Slam tournaments, hasn’t competed since June, when he lost to 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol in the second round at Wimbledon.

The injury prevented Nadal from defending his Olympic singles gold medal at the Games in London, where he was supposed to be Spain’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony. He also had to pull out of the U.S. Open and Spain’s Davis Cup final against the Czech Republic, which teammates lost without him.


Jones arrested on battery charge

Former Atlanta Braves standout Andruw Jones is free on bond after being arrested in suburban Atlanta on a battery charge, according to jail records

Gwinnett County Detention Center records show Jones, 35, was booked into the county jail around 3:45 a.m. Tuesday and had been released on $2,400 bond by 11 a.m.

Around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, police responded to a call for an alleged domestic dispute between Jones and his wife in Duluth, Ga.

Jones won 10 consecutive Gold Gloves from 1998 through 2007 as Atlanta’s center fielder; he was an All-Star five times in that span.

Jones spent the last two seasons with the New York Yankees and batted .220 in 171 games. He signed a $3.5 million, one-year contract with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan’s Pacific League earlier this month.

College football

Bowl game precedes Petrino era

Before the Bobby Petrino era begins at Western Kentucky, there is a bowl game for the Hilltoppers to play — the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl against Central Michigan.

The game at Ford Field on Wednesday night is in Detroit, not far from the campus of the Chippewas (6-6). Western Kentucky (7-5) will be guided by interim coach Lance Guidry.

Petrino’s hiring has almost overshadowed the play of the Hilltoppers. They are in their first bowl since becoming a top-tier school in college football in 2009.

Petrino is returning to coaching less than a year after he was dismissed at Arkansas for a “pattern of misleading” behavior after an accident in which the coach was injured while riding a motorcycle with his mistress — whom he had hired to work in the Razorbacks’ football department — as a passenger.

Guidry, who was Western Kentucky’s defensive coordinator, said his players are ready.

“These kids are really hungry,” Guidry said. “Really been having some great practices, although they’ve been going through a lot of different things with the head coaches.”

Guidry was appointed interim coach Dec. 8, a day after Willie Taggart left to take the job as South Florida’s coach.

“Even though Coach Taggart is gone, the coaches are still here with us,” said Western Kentucky running back Antonio Andrews, who has 2,977 all-purpose yards this season. “They’ve been here since Day One.”

Syracuse suspends 2 players

Syracuse has suspended sophomore tailback Adonis Ameen-Moore and reserve tight end Max Beaulieu for Saturday’s Pinstripe Bowl because they violated athletic-department rules.

The Orange (7-5) plays West Virginia (7-5) at Yankee Stadium in New York.

Auburn hires Smith as assistant

Auburn has hired longtime Southeastern Conference assistant Melvin Smith, 54, as cornerbacks coach.

Tigers coach Gus Malzahn announced the hiring of Smith, who spent the past seven seasons coaching defensive backs at Mississippi State.

Women’s college basketball

WCC honors Luttinen — again

Portland sophomore guard Kari Luttinen, a former Seattle Prep standout, has been voted West Coast Conference player of the week for the second consecutive week.

The Pilots have won four games in a row and Luttinen is averaging 20 points during that span.


• Dec. 26 traditionally is one of the biggest days in West Coast horse racing, as it is opening day of the winter-spring season at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif.

The Grade I Malibu Stakes for 3-year-olds heads a nine-race card Wednesday. The Lumber Guy, runner-up to Trinniberg in the Nov. 3 Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita, is the 3-1 morning-line favorite in a field of 10 for the $300,000 race at 7 furlongs.

• Tuesday was the 101st day of the NHL lockout, and there is speculation league and union officials will be in contact Wednesday.

Seattle Times news services