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Thomas uncertain if Marbury will return
NEW YORK, New York
Stephon Marbury might not return to the struggling New York Knicks this season, coach Isiah Thomas said Thursday, a day after saying he expected the star point guard to be back.
With an 8-20 record and the fewest victories in the National Basketball Association's Eastern Conference, the Knicks have been a soap opera of dysfunctional relationships, mainly between Thomas and Marbury.
Marbury was expected to return from bereavement leave Wednesday following the death of his father on December 2 but missed a team flight to Orlando.
He has missed eight of the Knicks' past nine games and New York has a 1-7 record without him.
Asked if Thomas would be back this season, Thomas said, "I don't know."
Reports refuted
ROME, Italy
Palermo have refuted Italian media reports that the Serie A club may have been the victim of Mafia extortion attempts.
"Palermo categorically denies that the club, its administrators or directors have ever received demands or pressures of an extortive nature from anyone or, even less so, from anyone linked to organized crime," said a statement on the club's Web site (www.ilpalermocalcio.it).
La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper said yesterday that a letter written to captured Mafia boss Salvatore Lo Piccolo mentioned one of Palermo's youth team coaches and the club's plans to build a new stadium. The letter was among documents seized when Lo Piccolo was arrested at his Sicilian hideout last month, it said.
"We are only at the planning stage (for the stadium), there is no call for tenders," Palermo Managing Director Rinaldo Sagramola told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"It is an important project and who knows if it might have stirred the interest of the criminal world, as well as that of honest entrepreneurs. Anyway this club has never received any type of pressure, demand or contact, zero."
Lampard injured
LONDON, England
Chelsea said it will be without midfielder Frank Lampard for "a few weeks" because of a thigh injury.
The club said in a statement Thursday that scans showed Lampard had a tear in his right thigh. He limped off midway through the first half of Chelsea's 4-4 draw with Aston Villa in the Premier League on Wednesday.
"The tear is not in the same leg that Frank injured earlier this season," Chelsea said. "He will begin his rehabilitation immediately and we hope to have him back playing within a few weeks."
Barton charged
LONDON, England
Controversial Newcastle and England midfielder Joey Barton was charged with common assault and fighting in public, Merseyside Police said yesterday.
The 25-year-old, who remains in custody, was one of three people arrested in the north-west English city on Thursday in connection with an allegation of assault.
He will appear before Liverpool City Magistrates Court later on Friday alongside the two others, who were both also charged in connection with the incident.
Nadine Wilson, 27, was also charged with common assault and fighting in public, while 19-year-old Andrew Barton was charged with causing actual bodily harm and fighting in public.
Goolagong gets No. 1
SUNRISE BEACH, Australia
Evonne Goolagong figures it was a case of better late than never.
The Australian tennis star was told by the WTA Tour that she should have been top-ranked for a two-week period in 1976. But when some tournament records were transferred to a computer, all of Goolagong's points were not entered and she never received the top ranking, the WTA said.
The WTA has amended its records, making Goolagong one of 16 No. 1 players since the introduction of tour computer rankings.
Goolagong said, "It's very satisfying, nice to be finally recognized. It's never too late to make it official."


Updated : 2021-04-15 05:05 GMT+08:00