Staff And Wire Reports

Lakers forward Pau Gasol, 29, had surgery Monday after breaking the middle finger of his left hand during a practice with the Spanish national team, Lakers spokesman John Black said. Black said that information came from Arn Tellem, Gasol's agent. Tellem could not be reached for comment.

Gasol's injury was first reported by a Spanish website,, which said he is expected to be sidelined for three weeks. Gasol was preparing for the European championships.

Black said he wasn't given a timetable for Gasol's recovery, but said Tellem told him there were no problems involving the surgery. The Lakers typically begin training camp in late September.

The Spanish website reported Gasol injured his finger when he attempted to block a shot in practice. He was immediately taken to the hospital for surgery.

Last season with the Lakers, Gasol shot 56.7% from the field, fifth-best in the NBA, and averaged 18.9 points and 9.6 rebounds.

During the playoffs, Gasol averaged 18.3 points, 10.8 rebounds and shot 57.9% from the field.

-- Mark Medina



Martinez gets first start Wednesday

Pedro Martinez will make his return to the majors Wednesday when he starts for the Philadelphia Phillies against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel said that the three-time Cy Young winner will come off the 15-day disabled list. Martinez finished last season with the New York Mets.

To make room for Martinez in the rotation, the Phillies sent 46-year-old left-hander Jamie Moyer to the bullpen.

Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Alex Rios has been claimed off waivers by the Chicago White Sox.

Toronto did not receive any compensation for the two-time All-Star, who is batting .264 with 14 homers and 62 RBIs in 108 games. The 28-year-old Rios signed a seven-year deal in April 2008 that guarantees him $69,835,000.

Washington Nationals rookie right-hander Jordan Zimmermann probably needs reconstructive elbow surgery, a procedure that would sideline him for at least a year.



Rams' Avery out at least a month

The St. Louis Rams will be without No. 1 wide receiver Donnie Avery for four to six weeks after the second-year player injured his foot.

Avery has a stress fracture in his left foot, the team said. The injury could mean he'll miss the first two regular-season games.

A medical examiner says Mina Brees, the mother of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, died Friday in western Colorado, but the cause of death is still under investigation.

Drew Brees was practicing with the Saints on Monday in Metairie, La., after missing a scrimmage Saturday for an undisclosed family matter.

Veteran defensive lineman Shaun Smith signed a $1-million, one-year deal with the Detroit Lions, who lost defensive end Jared DeVries for the season because of a ruptured Achilles' tendon. . . . Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Antonio Bryant has a torn meniscus in his left knee that will sideline him for the remainder of training camp.



AVP tour loses title sponsor

The Assn. of Volleyball Professionals and title sponsor Crocs will end their partnership in 2010, the AVP said in a news release.

Crocs bought out the rest of the contract with the AVP and will remain the title sponsor for the rest of the 2009 beach volleyball season, the release said.

Crocs and the AVP joined in 2006, when Crocs became the official footwear of the tour.

The release said the AVP is in talks with other companies about possible sponsorships for the future. AVP Chief Executive Jason Hodell said he could not comment on which companies they are.

-- Bill Brink

The Ducks acquired goaltender Justin Pogge from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a conditional selection in the 2011 NHL entry draft. Pogge, 23, was 1-4-1 with a 4.36 goals-against average last season.

Rafer Johnson, 1960 Olympic decathlon champion and a longtime Olympic activist in Los Angeles, was given his own bronzed plaque in the Coliseum's peristyle end. Johnson, the former UCLA star, was the final torch-runner and lit the flame in the opening ceremonies of the 1984 Games.

The plaque is a depiction of Johnson carrying a torch, but it is also surrounded by seven symbols that include many of the events he competed in when he won his gold medal in Rome.

-- Bill Dwyre

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