Priestley continues to recover from accident
INDIANAPOLIS, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Well-known actor and Infiniti Pro Series driver Jason Priestley has been transferred by airlift to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis to continue his recovery from serious injuries suffered in an accident during practice at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta on Sunday.
Priestley, 32, a native of Vancouver, was transferred to Methodist, a renowned location for its treatment of injured race drivers, from the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington. There, he was in the intensive care unit. His condition remains serious but stable.
Doctors at UK Hospital announced that Priestley's pulse and blood pressure are normal, he continues to breathe on his own, he responds to commands, and voluntarily moves all his extremities.
Priestley sustained a moderate concussion as well as a fracture of his ninth thoracic vertebra, or broken back. Additionally, he suffered a contusion around the left eye, and has has lacerations on the bridge of his nose and left cheek, neck lacerations and fractures in both feet.
Priestley will undergo orthopedic surgery in a few days, after he has recovered from the transfer. The former star of the 10-year television cult hit "Beverly Hills 90210" is expected to make a full recovery.
Serena Williams withdraws at Montreal
MONTREAL, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Serena Williams, the top seed and defending champion, pulled out of the $1.22 million Rogers AT&T Cup on Tuesday due to acute left knee tendinitis.
Williams suffered the injury during practice Monday, received treatment and said it felt better overnight. But her knee swelled up after a training session on Tuesday.
"I felt it would be much smarter to withdraw now rather than to aggravate the injury more," Williams said.
The world No. 1 said her knee bothered her last week at Manhattan Beach, where she was upset in the quarterfinals by Chanda Rubin, who is the 16th seed here.
"I received extensive treatment and the injury did not re-occur until now. It's odd at this point," Williams said. "I'm confident that I'll be able to compete and perform in two weeks (at the U.S. Open)."
Williams' place in the main draw will be taken by lucky loser and fellow American Meilen Tu, who met Colombia's Fabiola Zuluaga on Tuesday night in the second round.
Earlier Tuesday, the sixth-seeded Martina Hingis rolled to a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Spanish qualifier Magui Serna in the former world No. 1's first WTA Tour match since May. Hingis returned to action after undergoing surgery to repair torn and damaged ligaments in her left ankle. She had not played since Hamburg in early May, when she reached the semifinals and won the doubles title with Barbara Schett. Hingis awaits the winner of the second-round match between France's Nathalie Dechy and Croatia's Clarisa Fernandez.
Roberts undergoes shoulder surgery
TORONTO, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- After undergoing surgery on both shoulders in less than a month, Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Gary Roberts is expected to miss the first four months of the 2002-03 season.
The team announced on Tuesday that Roberts underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder on August 7 and is not expected to return until February 2003. The 36-year-old Roberts had arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder on July 10.
Roberts was sixth on the team in scoring last year, recording 21 goals and 27 assists in 69 games. He also had seven goals and 12 assists in 19 playoff games, helping Toronto to the Eastern Conference finals.
A former 50-goal scorer, Roberts suffered a career-threatening neck injury that forced him to retire briefly. He sat out the 1996-97 season before returning the following year.
A member of the Stanley Cup champion Calgary Flames in 1989, Roberts has scored 20 or more goals in 11 of his 14 NHL seasons. He had a career-high 53 goals for Calgary in 1991-92.
Mullin named Warriors executive
OAKLAND, Calif., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Chris Mullin, the all-time leader in games played, Tuesday was named as a special assistant in the front office of the Golden State Warriors. He will report to the team's Chief Operating Officer, Robert Rowell.
"We are absolutely thrilled to have Chris Mullin back where he belongs--in the Warriors organization," Rowell said. "This is a great opportunity for us to capitalize on his basketball knowledge and for Chris to learn about the business of basketball from a different perspective."
In his new role, Mullin, 39, who is also the franchise's fourth all-time leading scorer, will provide assistance to the entire basketball operations staff, including General Manager Garry St. Jean and Coach Eric Musselman. Additionally, Mullin's expertise will be utilized in player development and evaluation.
A first-round pick of Golden State in 1985, Mullin spent 13 of his 16 NBA seasons with the Warriors. He averaged a career-high 26.5 points per contest during the 1988-89 season, the first of five consecutive campaigns in which he averaged 25 or more points, a feat matched by only Wilt Chamberlain in franchise history.
The five-time All-Star ranks first in franchise history in games (807), second in free-throw percentage (86.4), fourth in points (16,235), and 10th in scoring average (20.1).
He also spent three seasons with the Indiana Pacers and helped them reach the NBA Finals in 2000.
Stars sign free agent Dahlen
VALLEY RANCH, Texas, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- THe DAllas Stars signed veteran right wing Ulf Dahlen to a one-year contract Tuesday, returning him to the organization where he enjoyed his best years.
Dahlen, 35, will be returning to the Stars after spending parts of five seasons with the franchise from 1989-94. In 306 games with Minnesota-Dallas, Dahlen recorded 113 goals and 129 assists for 242 points.
A native of Sweden, Dahlen played the last three seasons with the Washington Capitals and had 23 goals and 29 assists in 2001-02. A first-round pick of the New York Rangers in 1985, Dahlen has scored 20 or more goals eight times in his 13-year NHL career. He recorded his best season with the Minnesota North Stars in 1992-93, collecting 35 goals and 39 assists for 74 points. He also netted a career-high 36 goals in 1991-92 with Minnesota.
Dahlen stayed with the franchise when it relocated to Dallas in 1993-94, but was traded that season to San Jose. He also played for the Chicago Blackhawks. In 903 NHL games, he has 284 goals and 334 assists for 618 points. He has 14 goals and 22 assists in 74 postseason games.
Rams rookie has fractured kneecap
MACOMB, Ill., Aug.13 (UPI) -- St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Ryan Pickett, one of their three first-round picks in 2001, will be out at least two weeks with a fractured right kneecap.
Pickett missed several days of practice last week with soreness in the knee before a medical exam revealed the fracture.
The Rams are counting on Pickett to rotate at defensive tackle with starters Brian Young and Jeff Zgonina and reserves Damione Lewis and Tyoka Jackson. However, Young is sidelined with a knee injury, Lewis is recovering from foot surgery, and Jackson is coming off knee surgery. The injuries forced the Rams to use defensive end Jonathan Brown at tackle in Saturday's preseason opener at Tennessee.
The 6-2, 297-pound Pickett was the third of St. Louis' three first-round picks last season, following Lewis and safety Adam Archuleta.
Royals All-Star first baseman returns
KANSAS CITY, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Kansas City Royals All-Star first baseman Mike Sweeney returned Tuesday after missing a month with a strained left hip and sore lower back.
"He's ready to go," said Royals General Manager Allard Baird. "I'm scared that he's going to come in here and swing hard enough to blow everybody out of the stadium in his first at-bat. He's anxious to go and healthy."
Sweeney last played for the Royals on July 13. He joined Triple-A Omaha of the Pacific Coast League earlier this month, but did not begin playing until last Friday. He hit a home run in his first at-bat and was 3-for-12 in three games at Omaha.
Sweeney, 29, is Kansas City's best hitter, batting .355 with 16 homers and 49 RBI in 84 games. The Royals re-signed Sweeney to a five-year, $55 million contract last spring. He has averaged 27 homers, 115 RBI and a .318 batting average over the previous three seasons.
Indians bring back Dave Burba
TAMPA, Fla., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- The Cleveland Indians Tuesday purchased the contract of veteran pitcher Dave Burba from Double-A Akron and optioned righthander Jason Beverlin to Triple-A Buffalo of the International League.
Burba, who was born in Dayton and attended Ohio State, was released by the Texas Rangers July 30 and signed a minor league contract with the Indians eight days later.
The 36-year-old righthander went 4-5 with a 5.42 ERA in 23 games with Texas, including 18 starts. He made one start with Akron last Friday and allowed one hit in 4 2/3 scoreless innings.
Burba went 46-25 with Cleveland from 1998-2000 before struggling in 2001 with a 10-10 record and 6.21 ERA in 32 games. He also has played with Seattle, San Francisco and Cincinnati and is 109-85 with a 4.52 ERA in 431 games.
The 28-year-old Beverlin made four relief appearances with the Indians, allowing seven runs and nine hits in 7 1/3 innings.
Bengals LB Spikes has chest injury
GEORGETOWN, Ky., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Veteran outside linebacker Takeo Spikes, the heart and soul of the improving defense of the Cincinnati Bengals, will be on the sidelines for a while after suffering a chest injury in the team's preseason win at Buffalo Friday night.
Spikes suffered a partially torn right pectoral muscle on a play in which he sacked Bills quarterback Drew Bledsoe at the end of the first quarter. He ran off the field holding his chest.
Spikes, a four-year veteran who has not signed a new contract, likely will be out 2-4 weeks. He might be able to play in the Bengals' preseason finale Aug. 29 at Atlanta.
The 6-2, 245-pounder from Auburn has never missed a regular season contest because of injury and, if he does not play again in the exhibition season, he definitely is pointing toward being healthy for the first game of the regular campaign at home Sept. 8 against San Diego.
Blazers sign G Jeff McInnis
PORTLAND, Ore., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- The Portland Trail Blazers, looking to upgrade their size in the backcourt, have signed veteran guard Jeff McInnis to a three-year contract.
The signing of the 27-year-old McInnis comes on the heels of last week's acquisition of 6-4 guard Antonio Daniels in a five-player deal with the San Antonio Spurs. Portland also has veteran Damon Stoudamire in its backcourt.
The 6-4, 180-pound McInnis, who was also being pursued by the Minnesota Timberwolves, started 80 games last season for the Los Angeles Clippers and averaged 14.6 points and 6.2 assists per game. He ranked seventh in the NBA in assist-to-turnover ratio.
The former University of North Carolina star, who has started 177 of 235 games in the NBA, has career averages of 11.1 points and 4.8 assists per contest. He spent the 1996-97 season with the Denver Nuggets and was with Washington in the 1998-99 season before joining the Clippers for the 1999-2000 campaign.
Astros shortstop suffers broken forearm
CHICAGO, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- The late charge of the Houston Astros toward a National League playoff spot hit an unexpected snag Monday night when starting shortstop Julio Lugo suffered a broken left forearm after being hit by Chicago Cubs righthander Kerry Wood.
Lugo was hit by Wood, one of the hardest throwers in the major leagues, in the third inning of the Astros' 9-6 win. He immediately left the game and, following the contest, the team revealed that their leadoff hitter will be sidelined 6-to-8 weeks.
The 26-year-old Lugo is among the streakiest players in the game and was in the middle of one of his hot stretches when he suffered the injury. He had eight hits in his last 15 at-bats and his added offensive production since the All-Star break has helped the Astros get back into the thick of both the National League Central and wild card races.
For the season, Lugo is hitting .261 with eight homers and 35 RBI. He also has scored 45 runs and stolen nine bases, and played well defensively, committing just eight errors in 87 games.
Former Packers reporter dies
GREEN BAY, Wis., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Al Sampson, who for years reported on the Green Bay Packers for two local television stations, died Monday at his home. He was 75.
Sampson is a former host of the "Vince Lombardi Show," and was given the nickname "Big Al" by the former Packers' coach while doing the show when he was sports director at WBAY.
He later went to WLUK, where he was host of two programs--"Packerama" with Bart Starr and Doug Hart, and "Quarterback Club" with Fuzzy Thurston and Max McGee.
Over the years, he worked less because of throat cancer and finally retired in 1998. The Green Bay Press-Gazette reported that Sampson was battling brain cancer at the time of his death.
Bruins sign defenseman Bryan Berard
BOSTON, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- The Boston Bruins Tuesday signed veteran defenseman Bryan Berard, who returned to the NHL last season after suffering a serious right eye injury.
Berard received a one-year contract with a one-year club option.
Boston is hoping that Berard will provide much-needed scoring from the blue line. Sean Brown led Bruins defenseman with just six goals last season.
Berard, the Calder Trophy winner in 1996-97 as the NHL's top rookie, suffered what was believed to be a career-ending injury when he played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and was accidentally high-sticked in his right eye by Ottawa winger Marian Hossa in a game on March 11, 2000. He underwent three operations on the severely-damaged eye and missed the entire 2000-01 season.
The 25-year-old defenseman signed as a free agent with the New York Rangers last October and played all 82 games for them, recording two goals and 21 assists.
The 6-2, 218-pound Berard has 36 goals and 145 assists for 181 points in 372 career games. He also played for Team USA in the 1998 Olympics at Nagano, Japan.
Oilers defenseman wins arbitration case
EDMONTON, Alberta, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Edmonton Oilers defenseman Jason Smith Tuesday was awarded a one-year, $2.3 million contract in arbitration.
Smith was seeking $2.8 million while the Oilers countered with $1.95 million, more than the 10 percent minimum requirement for a qualifying offer. He earned $1.525 million last season.
Despite battling injuries, Smith, 28, led all Oilers' defensemen with a plus-14 rating last season, and had five goals, 13 assists and 103 penalty minutes.