Vonn possible for season opener
Lindsey Vonn’s surgically repaired right knee feels so good she could be racing again by the end of the month, five weeks earlier than she originally expected.
Vonn “reopened” the idea of competing in the season-opening World Cup event in Soelden, Austria, after returning to the slopes last month in Portillo, Chile. The World Cup in Soelden is Oct. 26-27.
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“When I was looking at the plan and the timeline, it didn’t seem like it would be at all possible to do that,” said Vonn, who appeared at the U.S. Olympic Committee media summit Wednesday via videoconference. “It’s because I’m feeling so strong and ready that I’m bringing that possibility back into the mix.
“It’s definitely a possibility at this point. I have to get over there and see how I feel.”
The reigning Olympic downhill champion shredded her anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments during a crash at the world championships in Schladming, Austria, last February. The original timetable didn’t even have her in ski boots until November, but when the U.S. ski team traveled to Chile to train, Vonn was there.
James’ jersey sales No. 1
LeBron James has the world’s best-selling NBA jersey. The Miami Heat star and four-time league MVP tops the NBA’s global list of jersey sales for this past season. James — who also has the top-selling jersey in the United States — outsold Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Heat teammate Dwyane Wade for the No. 1 spot.
Steve Nash, the Los Angeles Lakers’ 39-year-old point guard, is the oldest player in the NBA this season.
“It’s not a privilege I ever really dreamed about,” Nash said with a grimace at the Lakers’ training camp. “It’s pretty strange and, I guess, surreal in a way. Obviously, I’m thrilled to still be playing, and I don’t feel as old as I probably look to some of these young guys.”
Although Nash has no more than a few gray hairs at his temples, his 18th NBA season will be all about fighting back time. He’s healthy after injuries essentially scuttled his debut season with the Lakers, but his age and mileage already have coach Mike D’Antoni talking about limiting Nash’s minutes during the season.
But the eight-time All-Star is quietly confident he can still be the dynamic guard with more than 10,000 career assists and the highest free-throw shooting percentage in NBA history.
Penguins lose goaltender
Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tomas Vokoun will miss three to six months while undergoing treatment for blood clots.
Vokoun, 37, hasn’t played since the blood clots were discovered last month. Vokoun said he hadn’t thought about retirement yet and wants to see how the treatment plays out before making any kind of decision.
Vokoun helped the Penguins reach the Eastern Conference finals last season. Taking over in the first round for struggling Marc-Andre Fleury, Vokoun went 6-5 with a 2.01 goals against average and a sterling .933 save percentage. Coach Dan Bylsma called Vokoun and Fleury the best tandem in the NHL when training camp opened last month.
Now Jeff Zatkoff, 26, will serve as Fleury’s primary backup when the Penguins open the season Thursday against New Jersey.
Montreal Canadiens enforcer George Parros was released from a hospital after being treated overnight for a head injury suffered in a season-opening loss to Toronto. Parros was knocked unconscious early in the third period after his face slammed into the ice during a fight with Maple Leafs tough guy Colton Orr.
Two new statues of hockey great Wayne Gretzky were vandalized with spray paint in his hometown of Brantford, Ontario. Police said there have been no arrests.
Sandusky denied new trial
Former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky should not get a new trial after being convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys, a Pennsylvania appeals court ruled. The unanimous decision by a three-judge Superior Court panel came barely two weeks after they heard oral arguments by Sandusky’s lawyer and a state prosecutor.
• U.S. champion Simone Biles used superb floor and vault exercises to sweep past teammate Kyla Ross and clinch a 1-2 finish ahead of Friday’s all-around final at the world gymnastics championships in Antwerp, Belgium.
• Penske Racing revealed multiyear extensions with defending Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski and Miller Lite through the 2017 season.
• Lance Armstrong’s Olympic medal is back with the IOC. The International Olympic Committee stripped the American rider of the bronze medal from the 2000 Sydney Games in January after he admitted to doping.
• Defending champion Bayern Munich outclassed host Manchester City 3-1 in Champions League action. Other highlights: Real Madrid routed Copenhagen 4-0, while Paris Saint-Germain beat Benfica 3-0.
• A Jamaican disciplinary panel gave sprinting star Veronica Campbell-Brown a public warning and cleared her to return to competition some five months after she returned a positive doping test on the Caribbean island. The panel determined she did commit a doping infraction but the three-time Olympic gold medalist did not use the banned substance for performance enhancement.
• Whitney Handicap winner Cross Traffic won’t run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic because of a minor shin injury.
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