Kings’ Johnson to have surgery for shoulder tear

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The Kings’ Jack Johnson, a key figure in the team’s rebuilding plans, suffered a tear in the labrum of his left shoulder Sunday and will undergo surgery this week.

He was put on injured reserve and isn’t expected back until after the Jan. 25 All-Star game, Coach Terry Murray said Monday.

“It’s very unfortunate,” Murray said. “When you look at it, and when you look at things like this, it always seems like an innocent play.”

Johnson was injured during the first period of the Kings’ 1-0 loss to San Jose on Sunday at Staples Center. Murray said Johnson was attempting to play a puck that had flipped into the air when he was hit by a Sharks player.


“He saw the player at the last second and tried to get out of the way but couldn’t,” Murray said.

Seventh defenseman Peter Harrold is likely to replace Johnson tonight against the Ducks at Staples Center. Another option is Kyle Quincey, who on Monday was claimed off waivers by the Kings from Detroit. However, Quincey hadn’t practiced with the Kings yet because he was traveling to Los Angeles.


Helene Elliott


Alexei Cherepanov, a 19-year-old first-round draft pick of the New York Rangers, died during a Continental Hockey League game in Russia. Former Rangers captain Jaromir Jagr played a shift with Cherepanov and was talking to his young Avangard Omsk teammate on the bench shortly after they left the ice, when Cherepanov suddenly collapsed, said a Rangers spokesman who talked to Jagr.

There was no collision that preceded the collapse, the spokesman said, but no other details were available. Cherepanov scored the first goal of the game and had eight in 15 contests this season. Cherepanov surprisingly slipped to the Rangers during the 2007 NHL draft, and they grabbed him with the 17th pick. The talented forward dropped because of concerns about the likelihood of signing him and the potential difficulty in getting him to leave Russia. The Rangers said Cherepanov definitely figured in their plans.

“I was shocked when I heard. I thought it must be a misprint or something because he just had so much going for him,” said New York assistant coach Mike Pelino, who had recently returned from a one-week trip to Russia, where he watched Cherepanov play. “He was someone who I was really excited about and thought, ‘Wow, we did get something special here.’ ”



Cardinals’ Pujols has elbow surgery

St. Louis Cardinals star Albert Pujols had elbow surgery and is expected to be ready for spring training.

Pujols underwent a 25-minute outpatient procedure to relieve nerve irritation in his right elbow, which had led to numbness, tingling in his ring finger and pinkie, weakness in his grip and pain along the inside of the forearm. George Paletta, the team physician who performed the surgery, said Pujols experienced those symptoms over the last month of the season.

Cleveland Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner will undergo arthroscopic surgery today on the strained right shoulder that kept him on the disabled list for more than three months. Dr. James Andrews will clean out the shoulder and investigate why it’s causing pain, Indians head trainer Lonnie Soloff said. Soloff didn’t indicate how long Hafner would be out and said he would know more today.


Former Toronto manager John Gibbons was hired by the Kansas City Royals to be their bench coach. The Royals also hired Kevin Seitzer as their hitting coach.


U.S. drops Mastroeni for World Cup qualifier

Midfielder Pablo Mastroeni (knee injury) and forward Robbie Rogers (sore back) were dropped from the U.S. soccer roster for Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier at Trinidad and Tobago. They were replaced by two MLS players: Chicago forward Chris Rolfe and Columbus midfielder Brian Carroll.


Two more people involved in the killing of former Villanova basketball star Howard Porter were sentenced. Fredquinzo King was sentenced to 45 years in district court in Minneapolis. He had pleaded guilty earlier. Tonya Washington, who pleaded guilty in February to aggravated robbery, was sentenced to 10 years.

Porter, a 58-year-old probation officer, was beaten to death in May 2007.

Two-time Grand Slam winner Amelie Mauresmo, ranked No. 22, lost to 19-year-old Victoria Azarenka, 6-2, 6-1, in the first round of the Zurich Open in Switzerland. Azarenka cracked the top 20 this year and is ranked 18th.

The New Orleans VooDoo of the Arena Football League plans to cease operations as the league looks to improve its financial footing. One proposal involves individual franchise owners’ ceding control of the league to new investors.