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Back Injury Could Keep Woods Out

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Defending champion Tiger Woods said Wednesday that he injured his back sleeping on a plane last week and would not know until before his tee time whether he can play in the American Express Championship at Thomastown, Ireland.

Woods played only seven holes in a practice round at Mount Juliet before his back stiffened and he decided not to risk further injury. He was asked if there was any doubt he would play today.

“Yeah, there is a little bit,” Woods said. “Warm-up session will probably determine it.”

Pro Football

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Carolina Panther running back Stephen Davis will not play Sunday against Atlanta because of a knee injury. Davis, who had arthroscopic surgery on Sept. 17, had hoped to return after the team was idle last weekend.

DeShaun Foster, who ran for 174 yards and a touchdown filling in for Davis two weeks ago, will start instead.

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San Diego Charger backup quarterback Philip Rivers hit the index finger of his throwing hand on a helmet midway through practice and sat out the rest of the session. Neither Rivers nor Coach Marty Schottenheimer thought the injury was serious.... The Dallas Cowboys put cornerback Pete Hunter (knee) and tight end Dan Campbell (foot) on injured reserve because of season-ending injuries. Both were injured Monday against Washington.... The Cincinnati Bengals put middle linebacker Nate Webster (knee) on injured reserve, officially ending his season. Webster was injured Sunday against Baltimore.... Tight end Ben Watson’s rookie year with the New England Patriots ended when he was put on injured reserve because of a knee injury.

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Pro Basketball

Clipper guard Kerry Kittles is expected to be sidelined through much of the exhibition season while participating in a therapy and conditioning program designed to strengthen his surgically repaired right knee, the team said Wednesday.

Kittles, 30, had arthroscopic surgery on the knee in June and was traded to the Clippers from the New Jersey Nets in July. The Clippers expect him to be ready for the regular-season opener on Nov. 3 against Seattle.

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The Lakers signed free-agent 6-foot-11 center Neil Yanke. Yanke averaged 12.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and shot nearly 50% from the floor as a Yale senior during the 2000-01 season.

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Dennis Rodman, who announced last season a desire to return to the NBA, could sign to play two games in October for Fuerza Regia of Mexico, the team said on its website.

Tennis

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Andy Roddick needed less than an hour to defeat Arvind Parmar, 6-1, 6-4, and advance to the second round of the Thailand Open at Bangkok. The second-seeded Roddick will face fellow American Jeff Morrison in the second round.

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Former top-ranked player Kim Clijsters made a winning return to the WTA Tour, shaking off five months of rustiness to beat Iveta Benesova, 7-6 (3), 6-2, and moving into the quarterfinals of the Gaz de France Stars tournament at Hasselt, Belgium.

Miscellany

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Unbeaten brothers Librado Andrade and Enrique Ornelas of La Habra will headline an HBO Latino/Boxeo de Oro card tonight at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in co-featured super middleweight bouts, both of which are scheduled for 10 rounds.

Andrade (19-0, 13 knockouts), the North American Boxing Organization and North American Boxing Assn. 168-pound champion, will meet southpaw Vitali Kopitko (24-6, 9) of Kiev, Ukraine, in a non-title fight.

Ornelas (19-0, 13) will meet Christian Cruz (8-1, 6) of Concord, Calif., in the co-main event.

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Nykesha Sales scored 18 points in Uncasville, Conn., to lead the Connecticut Sun to a 76-56 victory over the Washington Mystics and into the WNBA Eastern Conference finals. Connecticut will begin the best-of-three series Friday at New York.

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A decision on whether U.S. gymnast Paul Hamm will keep his Olympic gold medal won’t come until after Oct. 11, the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland, said.

Hamm won the all-around gold medal at the Athens Olympics, but South Korean Yang Tae-young wants the CAS to change the results because of a scoring error committed by three judges.

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Passings

Two-time Olympic gold medal skier Christl Cranz-Borchers died Tuesday in her home village of Oberstaufen, Germany. She was 90.


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