Other Sports

Sports briefs: June 29

NFL

Owens says he'll be ready for start of season

Terrell Owens is recovering from left knee surgery and plans to be ready to play when the NFL season starts. Owens' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, confirmed Tuesday that the 37-year-old star receiver tore his anterior cruciate ligament, had surgery in early April and "will be playing at the start of the NFL season."

In an interview with ESPN, Rosenhaus called speculation that Owens was considering retirement "nonsense" and said the 15-year veteran is doing "fantastic" and could be recovered as early as August.

Rosenhaus said Dr. James Andrews performed the surgery to the same knee in which Owens tore his meniscus late last year.

"The old injury has been repaired," Rosenhaus said. "He is many months into recovery and doing fantastic. No predictions on training camp, but he comes back fast from injuries. I won't rule him out of anything. He will be a starting receiver for someone this year."

Rosenhaus said "all the retirement talk is nonsense. There's been no discussion about that and this injury is not a big deal."

Rosenhaus declined to say how the injury occurred.

■ The two sides in the NFL lockout met on Tuesday in Minneapolis, but without any of the owners and players. According to the NFL Network, Commissioner Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith, leader of the now-decertified players' association, met and will meet for the next three days in Minnesota to continue the labor talks that have been conducted on and off for the past several weeks.

Hockey

Belfour, three others named to Hall

Former All-Star goalie Ed Belfour was elected Tuesday to the Hockey Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, joining Doug Gilmour, Mark Howe and Joe Nieuwendyk as the newest class of inductees. The four former NHL stars were chosen by the hall's 18-member selection committee. The induction ceremony will be held on Nov. 14.

Belfour, a two-time Vezina Trophy winner as the league's top goalie, posted 484 wins — third on the NHL career list — and 76 shutouts during a 17-year career during which he played for Chicago, San Jose, Dallas, Toronto and Florida. Belfour won a Stanley Cup with the Stars in 1999. He also was the Calder Memorial Trophy winner in 1991 as the NHL's top rookie.

Gilmour played 20 years in the NHL and won the Stanley Cup in 1989. He finished with more than 1,400 career points.

Howe, the son of Hall of Famer Gordie Howe, retired in 1995. He switched from forward to defense early in his career and was a runner up for the Norris Trophy three times.

Nieuwendyk, currently the general manager of the Stars, won the Stanley Cup with three different teams — Calgary, Dallas and New Jersey — and also helped Canada win the gold medal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. He also won the Calder Trophy, Conn Smythe Trophy as the Stanley Cup MVP (in 1999 with Dallas) and twice scored at least 50 goals.

Zdeno Chara hoisted the Stanley Cup as captain of the Boston Bruins two weeks ago. Next, the big defenseman will be meeting with the Montreal police. Police said they intend to question Chara in the coming weeks and decide whether to press charges for the hit that sidelined Montreal forward Max Pacioretty with a concussion and a cracked vertebra. Quebec's director of criminal prosecutions ordered an investigation into the hit by Chara during a regular-season game against the Canadiens on March 8.

Golf

Erdmann leads PGA Professional event

Scott Erdmann birdied three of the final four holes Tuesday on Hershey Country Club's East Course for a 2-under 69 and a one-stroke lead over Sean Dougherty in the 44th PGA Professional National Championship in Hershey, Pa. The top 20 players after the final round Wednesday will earn spots in the PGA Championship on Aug. 11-14 at Atlanta Athletic Club. Erdmann, the 34-year-old assistant pro at Oswego Lake Country Club in Lake Oswego, Ore., had a 12-under 202 total.

Keith Ohr, the PGA head professional at Wildwood Country Club in Louisville, was tied for 22nd after shooting a 73. He's 10 shots off the lead, but only one shot out of the top 20. Patrick Vadden, the PGA assistant professional at Charlie Vettiner Golf Club in Louisville, dropped into a tie for 59th after a 77. He's four shots behind Ohr.

Special Olympics

Kentucky gymnast wins five medals

Lee Dockins, a gymnast from Russellville, won five medals, including three golds, at the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece, on Tuesday. Dockins won the all-around, the balance beam and the floor exercise. She added a silver medal in the uneven bars and a bronze in the vault.

Collin Lutz, a swimmer from Nicholasville, finished eighth in the 100-meter freestyle.

Colleges

SEC names its top athletes

Tennessee tennis star John-Patrick Smith and Alabama gymnast Kayla Hoffman were chosen as the Southeastern Conference's male and female athlete of the year, respectively. Smith was Tennessee's first four-time tennis All-American.

Each school in the conference nominated one of its athletes for the honor. Kentucky's nominees were Randall Cobb and Victoria Dunlap. UK's most recent winner of the award was Tim Couch in 1999. He was preceded by Jamal Mashburn (1993), Kyle Macy (1980) and Jack Givens (1978). Gymnast Jenny Hansen, in 1995, was the only UK athlete to win the women's award.

NASCAR

Crown Royal to stop sponsoring Kenseth

Crown Royal will end its sponsorship with Roush Fenway Racing at the end of the year, and parent company Diageo will not renew its deal as an official NASCAR partner. Crown Royal has sponsored Matt Kenseth for the last two seasons, and the company sponsored Kurt Busch and Jamie McMurray before that. Going forward, Crown Royal will only sponsor the Sprint Cup race at Richmond.

Countdown to the Cup: Mark Story has daily updates on his blog leading up to July's Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway.

track and field

Merritt cleared to defend title at worlds

Olympic and world 400-meter champion LaShawn Merritt will be on the U.S. roster for worlds after USA Track and Field waived a rule that would have prevented him from competing because he missed the national championships while serving the end of a doping ban. Merritt is serving a 21-month doping ban that ends July 27; it was shortened by three months to allow him to be eligible in time for worlds in August. The international track federation grants defending champions automatic spots at worlds, so long as their national federation allows them to go. Although he is clear for worlds, he still awaits his fate on Olympic eligibility.

The last word

American Mardy Fish, the last U.S. singles player left at Wimbledon, is winless against his next opponent, Rafael Nadal, in five career meetings. The No. 10-seeded Fish, who is appearing in his third major quarterfinals, said:

"I've never been past this spot in a Grand Slam. Past this spot is where I want to be, where you set your goals for. ... A lot of it's mental. I mean, this guy (Nadal), you know, he's got 10 Grand Slams pretty recently. So half the battle is walking out there believing you can win, and I'll definitely do that."

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