Koivu returns from stomach cancer
MONTREAL, April 9 (UPI) -- Montreal Canadiens captain Saku Koivu will return to the lineup tonight, less than seven months after being diagnosed with stomach cancer.
The 27-year-old Koivu said in February that his cancer was in full remission and that he hoped to return by the end of the season. He has been practicing with the team for several weeks and will dress for a home game against the Ottawa Senators.
Coach Michel Therrien said is was uncertain how long Koivu would play.
Koivu was diagnosed with intra-abdominal lymphoma on Sept. 12 after undergoing a series of tests at Montreal General Hospital. He underwent multi-drug chemotherapy and tests in February revealed no traces of non-Hodgkins lymphona.
The Canadiens are battling for a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference and currently hold the eighth and final slot with 85 points, five ahead of the Washington Capitals. Montreal also has games Friday in New Jersey and Saturday at home against Buffalo.
Sharpe appears headed back to Denver
DENVER, April 9 (UPI) -- It appears that Shannon Sharpe, the NFL's all-time leader for tight ends in catches and yards, will be going back to the Denver Broncos.
Waived by the Baltimore Ravens in February for salary cap purposes, Sharpe told ESPN today he is "95-to-98 percent certain" he will sign with the Broncos.
Sharpe, who turns 34 in June, spent the first 10 years of his career with the Broncos and helped them win back-to-back Super Bowls in 1997 and 1998. However, Sharpe suffered a broken collarbone and missed 11 games in his last season with the Broncos before signing with the Ravens.
An eight-time Pro Bowler, Sharpe helped the Ravens win Super Bowl XXXV in January 2001. In his two seasons with Baltimore, Sharpe was the Ravens' primary receiving threat with 140 catches for 1,621 yards and seven touchdowns.
Weinke to have shoulder surgery
CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 9 (UPI) -- Carolina Panthers quarterback Chris Weinke will undergo surgery on his throwing shoulder Wednesday, forcing him to miss the team's three-day minicamp in May.
Weinke first injured the shoulder midway through his rookie year and experienced more pain in Carolina's three-day camp last week. After meeting with team doctors on Monday, Weinke opted for surgery and is expected to be ready for the start of training camp in July.
Third-year-player Matt Lytle, veteran Rodney Peete and Mike Watkins are the other quarterbacks on Carolina's roster.
The Panthers will have the opportunity to select Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington with the second overall pick in the April 20 draft, but appear committed to Weinke and are expected to take either North Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers or Texas cornerback Quentin Jammer.
Bucs sign Joe Jurevicius
TAMPA, April 9 (UPI) --- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have reached an agreement with free agent receiver Joe Jurevicius on a three-tear contract.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Jurevicius, 27, spent his first four years with the New York Giants, catching a career-high 51 passes for 706 yards and three touchdowns in 14 games, including nine starts, last season.
In Tampa, the 6-5, 230-pound Jurevicius provides new coach Jon Gruden with another big target to pair with Keyshawn Johnson in the West Coast offense.
The Bucs lost free agent receivers Jacquez Green and Reidel Anthony, who both signed with the Washington Redskins and will play again for their former college coach Steve Spurrier.
The Giants were interested in retaining Jurevicius, especially since starting receiver Ike Hilliard has asked to be traded. Third-year player Ron Dixon will move into Jurevicius' role as third receiver.