Falcons’ Dunn has back surgery

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The Atlanta Falcons said Wednesday that running back Warrick Dunn will miss three to four weeks after having back surgery.

Dunn, who rushed for a team-high 1,140 yards last season, hurt his back during off-season workouts and had the surgery Saturday.

The Tennessee Titans agreed to terms with veteran receiver Eric Moulds, adding some needed experience to the roster for quarterback Vince Young.

The 11-year veteran spent 2006 with Houston after playing for Buffalo his first 10 seasons in the NFL.


Three-time Pro Bowl running back Priest Holmes will report to the Kansas City Chiefs’ camp Saturday in a surprise development that comes 21 months after he was knocked out of football by a devastating hit.

Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs agreed to a one-year, $7.2-million contract with the Chicago Bears.

The Cleveland Browns are rebuilding their locker room after a waterfall containing thousands of gallons of water and some sewage flooded the 8-year-old structure.

Avengers Coach Ed Hodgkiss has agreed to a contract extension. Hodgkiss’ new deal includes a four-year contract and an option for a fifth year, which would be the 2012 Arena Football League season.


Burst blood vessel is cause of death

A preliminary autopsy report shows that a burst blood vessel in Mike Coolbaugh’s neck, near his brain, killed the Tulsa Drillers’ hitting coach when he was hit by a batted ball on Sunday in North Little Rock, Ark.

“It hit him in the back of the left side of his neck, kind of right below the ear,” Pulaski County coroner Mark Malcolm said.


The ball compressed the left vertebral artery, which travels up the left side of the spinal column and provides blood to the brain.

The artery compressed against the vertebra at the top of his spine, right at the base of the skull, and a hemorrhage was the result, Malcolm said.


Williams, Ivanovic won’t play at La Costa


Serena Williams and Ana Ivanovic have become the latest players to withdraw from next week’s Acura Classic at La Costa, the WTA Tour announced.

Williams injured her left thumb in the fourth-round victory over Daniela Hantuchova at Wimbledon this month.

Frank Dancevic defeated Juan Martin Del Potro, 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4, in the Indianapolis Tennis Championships to reach his first ATP quarterfinals since turning pro in 2003.

Dancevic’s next match will be against Igor Kunitsyn, who advanced when No. 4 Mardy Fish had to retire after injuring his left knee late in losing the opening set, 6-4.


After an injury timeout, Fish tried to play the second set and retired after losing the first point.

Fish will undergo an MRI exam today.

Third-seeded Daniela Hantuchova, seventh-seeded Katarina Srebotnik, and eighth-seeded Sybille Bammer reached the quarterfinals of the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford.

The 12th-ranked Hantuchova beat Shuai Peng, 6-4, 6-2; Srebotnik downed Maria Kirilenko, 6-0, 7-6 (5); and Bammer defeated Meilen Tu, 6-4, 6-2.


Second-seeded Mikhail Youzhny and third-seeded Juan Carlos Ferrero lost their second-round matches at the Austrian Open in Kitzbuehel.

Youzhny was defeated by Alexander Peya, 7-5, 6-0, and Ferrero lost to Andreas Seppi, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-2.

Top-seeded Novak Djokovic lost to qualifier Viktor Troicki, 2-6, 6-4, 7-5, in an all-Serbian second-round match at the Croatia Open in Umag.

Top-seeded Francesca Schiavone beat Emmanuelle Gagliardi, 6-0, 6-4 in the first round of the Gastein Ladies at Bad Gastein, Austria.


The Monte Carlo clay-court tennis tournament dropped its federal suit against the ATP Tour and agreed to forgo the mandatory player commitments other top-tier events require. The change takes effect in 2009, when the ATP unveils a new calendar.

Amanda Augustus has been named women’s tennis coach at California. Augustus, who most recently has been the coach at Michigan, is a graduate of Palos Verdes Peninsula High.


Del Mar groom loses left arm in accident


A groom for Lava Man, the most successful claiming horse in thoroughbred racing history, remained hospitalized after losing his left arm in a traffic accident that authorities say was caused by an alleged drunk driver near Del Mar racetrack.

Noe Garcia, who has cared for Lava Man for three years, was headed to work early Monday when he was injured in the accident on Interstate 5.

Georgie Boy won the first race of his career, taking the $140,050 Graduation Stakes for California-bred 2-year-olds by three lengths at Del Mar. He paid $9.20, $5.60 and $4.80.

Larry Robinson, who guided the Devils to a Stanley Cup title as coach in 2000, returned to the New Jersey bench as an assistant to Coach Brent Sutter.


Patrick Kane, the first overall pick in last month’s NHL draft, signed a three-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Former Olympic gold medalist Angelo Taylor and former world champion Jana Rawlinson won 400-meter hurdles races at a Grand Prix meet in Monaco.

Arkansas State plans to retire its Indian mascot after being targeted by an NCAA ban on ethnically or racially hostile or abusive nicknames.

Sal Zizzo, a 20-year-old midfielder on the U.S. team at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, signed a three-year contract with Hannover of Germany’s Bundesliga.


Zizzo, who joined on a free transfer, was part of the UCLA team that went to the 2006 NCAA final before losing to UC Santa Barbara.

Eddie Johnson, Major League Soccer’s leading scorer, turned down a transfer from the Kansas City Wizards to England’s Derby County.

Swiss syndicate Alinghi made it official, announcing that it will defend its Auld Mug trophy in Valencia, Spain.

Former New Mexico State and Illinois basketball coach Lou Henson is being treated again for cancer. Henson, 75, said he has the same form of intestinal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma he was diagnosed with four years ago.



Moon avoids charge of drunk driving

Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon was charged with negligent driving and avoided charges on drunk driving in Kirkland, Wash.

A spokesman for the King County prosecutor said that Moon tested below the legal limit in the hours after his arrest for investigation in April.


A man with a history of impersonating Pittsburgh Steelers players was given jail time for persuading a woman to loan him $3,200 while he pretended to be tight end Jerame Tuman.

Brian Jackson, 33, pleaded guilty to one count of theft by deception and one count of identity theft. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail and put on probation for five years.

Former NBA player Ron Mercer surrendered to police in Nashville to face a misdemeanor assault charge stemming from a scuffle in a strip club in April, police said. Mercer was waived by the New Jersey Nets in 2005.

Carolina Hurricanes standout Eric Staal and his brother, Jordan Staal of the Pittsburgh Penguins, were arrested for misdemeanor disorderly conduct and obstructing the legal process at Eric Staal’s bachelor party at a Minnesota resort.


The arraignment of USC safety Josh Pinkard, who was arrested in May on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, was continued until next month, according to Pinkard’s attorney, Carmen Trutanich.

-- Gary Klein