Vikings pick up option on Coach Frazier
MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- The Minnesota Vikings said Wednesday they have exercised a contract option on head Coach Leslie Frazier that will keep him with the team through 2014.
Frazier helped engineer a seven-win improvement for the Vikings, guiding the squad from a 3-13 record in 2011 -- his first full year on the sidelines -- to 10-6 and a surprise playoff berth in the recently completed 2012 campaign.
The turnaround was best one-year improvement in team history.
"Coach Frazier has done a remarkable job in building a strong foundation for the Minnesota Vikings and creating a very positive future," Vikings Owner-President Mark Wilf said. "We value his leadership and look forward to working with him for many years to come."
The 53-year-old coach has posted a 16-22 overall mark while leading the Vikings.
Maple Leafs' Frattin to have knee surgery
TORONTO, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Toronto Maple Leafs forward Matt Frattin will miss at least a week for a procedure on his surgically repaired left knee, the team said Wednesday.
Frattin is the team's second-leading scorer, with seven goals and three assists in 10 games this season.
"He had an issue with his (medial collateral ligament) that was corrected (in June), it is something that has flared up and it is not something that the doctors feel is a long-term thing, but definitely have some concern," Coach Randy Carlisle told The Toronto Star.
He indicated Frattin could return to the lineup before March.
The news came shortly it was revealed starting goalie James Reimer will be out of the lineup for at least a week while dealing with an MCL sprain in his left knee.
Goaltender Jussi Rynnas was recalled from the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League to fill Reimer's spot.
Rynnas is 8-8-1with three shutouts and has allowed an average of 2.57 goals per game in 17 games this season.
Kentucky forward Noel lost for season
LEXINGTON, Ky., Feb. 13 (UPI) -- University of Kentucky forward Nerlens Noel has sustained a torn knee ligament and will miss the rest of the season, the team said Wednesday.
The 6-foot-10 freshman -- the nation's leading shot-blocker -- was injured in the second half of the Wildcats' Tuesday loss to Florida. He landed awkwardly on his left knee after blocking a shot by the Gators' Mike Rosario.
No broken bones were found after the game but a subsequent magnetic resonance imaging exam turned up a torn ligament, which will need 6-to-8 months to heal after surgery.
Noel had racked up 106 blocks, averaging 4.4 per game, while also scoring 10.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per contest.
Magic's Turkolu suspended for 20 games
NEW YORK, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- The NBA said Wednesday it has suspended Orlando Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu for 20 games for steroid use.
The league said Turkoglu violated the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program by testing positive for the anabolic steroid methenolone.
Turkoglu will forfeit his pay during his suspension, which was to begin with the Magic's game against Atlanta Wednesday night.
Turkoglu said he took the steroids, not realizing they were a banned substance.
"While I was back home in Turkey this past summer, I was given a medication by my trainer to help recover more quickly from a shoulder injury," Turkoglu said in a release. "I didn't know that this was a banned substance and didn't check before taking it.
"I take full responsibility for anything that goes into my body. This was a complete error in judgment on my part and I apologize to the Orlando Magic organization, the league, my teammates and the Magic fans. I know I have let down a lot of people and I am truly sorry for my mistake."