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Vonn returning to racing

Lindsey Vonn said she will return to competition in a World Cup downhill Friday in Lake Louise, Alberta, the latest major step in her push to get ready for the Sochi Olympics.

She has not raced since a high-speed crash at the world championships in February, when she tore two ligaments in her right knee and broke a bone in her lower leg. About 2½ weeks ago, Vonn partially re-tore one of those reconstructed ligaments in a crash while training in Colorado.

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“You kind of know if your body is ready or not, and I feel like mine’s ready,” Vonn said.


World Cup draw Friday

The 31 countries that qualified for the 2014 World Cup and host nation Brazil will be hoping for the luck of the draw Friday in Costa do Sauipe.

That’s when their names are plucked from bowls in a globally televised extravaganza to determine where, when and, most important, who they will play in Brazil next June at soccer’s showcase tournament. The 90-minute ceremony will be televised live to more than 190 countries.

Chicago’s Magee MVP

Chicago Fire forward Mike Magee was selected Major League Soccer’s Most Valuable Player. He beat out Los Angeles’ Robbie Keane, Montreal’s Marco Di Vaio and New York’s Tim Cahill.

Vancouver Whitecaps forward Camilo Sanvezzo was honored with the MLS Goal of the Year for his flying scissor-kick volley against the Portland Timbers.


Knicks crush Nets

Carmelo Anthony had 19 points and 10 rebounds, Iman Shumpert scored a season-high 17 points, and the New York Knicks ended a nine-game losing streak with 113-83 romp over the Brooklyn Nets in the first meeting of the season between the city rivals.

The Knicks (4-13) snapped a tie with the Nets (5-14) for most losses in New York.

Bulls drub Heat

Carlos Boozer scored 27 points and the host Chicago Bulls beat LeBron James and the Miami Heat 107-87. James scored 21 points for Miami, but the Heat shot a season low for the second straight game, converting 41.6 percent from the field.


Twins add RHP Hughes

Right-hander Phil Hughes, who went 4-14 with a 5.19 earned-run average for the New York Yankees last season, finalized a $24 million, three-year contract with the Minnesota Twins.

In other baseball moves, the Kansas City Royals acquired outfielder Norichika Aoki from Milwaukee to be their leadoff hitter, which also means the Brewers are likely to shift Ryan Braun to right field. Milwaukee received left-hander Will Smith.

The Boston Red Sox agreed with reliever Edward Mujica on a two-year deal.

Free-agent reliever Brian Wilson agreed to terms on a $10 million, one-year contract to stay with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Free-agent infielder Rafael Furcal and the Miami Marlins have agreed to terms on a contract.


Johnson fires 67 for lead

Zach Johnson birdied four of the par 5s and shot a 5-under 67 to take a one-shot lead over Matt Kuchar in the World Challenge in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Only five players in the elite 18-man field managed to break par at Sherwood Country Club. One of them was tournament host Tiger Woods, who shot a 71.

Auto racing

Hall voting changed

NASCAR announced sweeping changes to the Hall of Fame election process, including tweaks that make Bill Elliott and Mark Martin immediately eligible for enshrinement.

Tony Stewart was the recipient of the prestigious Myers Brothers Award for contributions to the sport. Dale Earnhardt Jr. set a record with his 11th consecutive win as NASCAR’s most popular driver. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was named rookie of the year.


Adrian wins 50 free

Nathan Adrian from Bremerton won the men’s 50 freestyle (18.89) to highlight the first day of the Winter National Championships in Knoxville, Tenn.

Katie Ledecky (4:32.37) beat Missy Franklin (4:34.63) in a 500-yard freestyle matchup between Olympic gold medalists.


• Former Giro d’Italia winner Danilo Di Luca, 37, was banned from cycling for life after a third doping offense, joining Lance Armstrong as one of the highest profile riders to be kicked out of the sport.

• The Los Angeles Sparks signed coach Carol Ross to a multiyear contract extension.

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