In Sports from United Press International

Aug. 27, 2002 at 3:30 PM
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Philippoussis retires at Open

NEW YORK, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- On Day Two, hard-serving Aussie Mark Philippoussis, who was unable to play in the last two of three U.S. Opens because of a knee injury that has seen three surgeries in the past 14 months, was forced to retire in the first round.

He was ahead of Sjeng Schalken of the Netherlands, two sets to one, but had lost the third set and was losing the fourth, 3-5, when his ailing left knee left him in agony. He injured himself in the third set.

Philippoussis, who first injured the knee at Wimbledon in 1999 and had not played in the Open two of the last three years, has undergone three knee surgeries in the past 14 months. He has synthetic cartilage injected into the knee every six months.

Other seeded men's winners included No. 9 Carlos Moya, and on the women's winners, seventh-seeded Kim Clijsters, No. 10 Amelie Mauresmo, 17th-seeded Anna Smashnova, and No. 18 Ai Sugiyama.

Browns' QB nursing elbow injury

CLEVELAND, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Quarterback Tim Couch suffered an elbow injury in the second quarter of Cleveland's 27-20 preseason loss to the Packers in Green Bay.

Team officials were awaiting results of an MRI Tuesday morning to see how bad the damage may have been. His exit from the game was a precautionary measure and he watched the rest of it while icing the elbow on the sidelines.

The official diagnosis on Couch Monday night is a mild strained muscle. Halftime X-rays were negative.

"I'll be there against Kansas City with no questions," Couch said afterward about the Browns' regular season opener on Sept. 8. "We're going to do a lot of rehab and get this thing right and get some rest and I'll be ready to go."

"He thinks he's OK, and the doctors think he's OK," said Coach Butch Davis.

"I just strained a muscle in my forearm (on a pass to wide receiver Quincy (Morgan) and I thought the pain would go away," Couch said. "I threw a couple more passes and then just got to the point where I really couldn't grip the ball. But it's going to be fine."

Couch has been bothered by tendinitis all preseason. His arm is always heavily wrapped in ice after practice, and he practiced only once a day during camp. His status for Friday's preseason contest contest against Carolina at the moment is doubtful.

Redskins lose OL Rod Jones for season

ASHBURN, Va., Aug. 27 (UPI) -- The Washington Redskins have put offensive lineman Rod Jones on injured reserve, ending his 2002 season. Jones suffered a torn biceps tendon in Saturday night's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Jones played both guard and tackle for the Redskins during the preseason. He had been competing for one of the starting guard positions, but was filling in at left tackle for the injured Chris Samuels against Tampa Bay.

The Redskins signed Jones to a three-year, $4 million deal with a $500,000 bonus in April, expecting him to play at right guard. However, a disappointing training camp moved Jones to left guard and then left tackle for the injured Samuels.

Team trainer Dean Kleinschmidt said Jones will undergo surgery within the next few days and faces three to four months of rehabilitation. He has been placed on injured reserve.

Samuels is nursing a badly-sprained left ankle and is will not play Friday game against New England. He will rest another week with a sprained ankle before returning for the regular-season opener against Arizona on Sept. 8.

Clippers' Odom re-injures ankle

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Los Angeles Clippers forward Lamar Odom has re-injured his tender right ankle and likely will be sidelined an additional two or three months, a team official has announced.

Odom twisted the ankle during a recent rehabilitation workout, according to the team's orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Tony Daly. A subsequent examination revealed a bone edema (an accumulation of fluid and swelling.

Odom consulted two foot and ankle specialists before he was fitted Monday with a hard cast.

The cast includes an electrical stimulation device to promote healing and will be removed in four weeks, at which time the ankle will be re-evaluated.

Odom, 22, suffered a high ankle sprain on Feb. 14. Also bothered by a wrist injury, he played just 29 games last season, averaging 13.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per contest.

Spurs sign C-F Kevin Willis

SAN ANTONIO, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- The San Antonio Spurs have added a veteran presence to their frontcourt without leaving the state of Texas by signing free agent seven-footer Kevin Willis.

Terms were not disclosed, but the San Antonio Express News reported it is a one-year, $1 million deal, the minimum for a veteran with at least 10 years' experience.

Willis, who weighs 245 pounds and turns 40 on Sept. 6, returned to the Houston Rockets last season and averaged 6.1 points and 5.8 rebounds in 52 games. It was his second stint with Houston during an 18-year career that also has included stops in Atlanta, Miami, Golden State, Toronto and Denver.

"We started talking about 10 days ago," Willis said. "When I knew they were serious, I said, 'Yeah, I can play with those guys.' Even when I was in Houston, I always figured it would be nice to play here."

The 11th overall pick in the 1984 draft out of Michigan State has career averages of 13.1 points and 9.0 rebounds per contest while ranking 11th in NBA history with 1,271 games played.

His best season was 1991-92, when he averaged 18.3 points and was second in the league with 15.5 rebounds in 81 games with the Hawks. He was selected to play in the 1992 All-Star Game and was named to the All-NBA Third Team.

He will spell another aging seven-footer, David Robinson, who has back problems and has said he will retire after the 2002-03 campaign.

Ironically, Willis grabbed his 10,000th career rebound in a 93-91 win over the Spurs on March 26, 1999.

76ers sign Skinner

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Philadelphia 76ers General Manager Billy King announced Tuesday that the team have signed free agent forward Brian Skinner.

Terms of the deal were not made public, as is policy for most professional franchises in any sport.

Skinner, a 6-9, 265-pound forward, played in Cleveland last season, where he averaged 3.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per contest in 65 games, including eight starts. The four-year NBA veteran has career averages of 4.1 points and 4.4 rebounds, playing in 158 contests while starting 40 of them.

A first round draft pick by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 1998 draft, Skinner played his first three seasons with L.A., including his best season as a pro in the 1999-2000 campaign, when he averaged 5.4 points and 6.1 rebounds in 33 games. He was traded by the Clippers on June 27, 2001, along with the rights to high-school phenom Tyson Chandler to the Chicago Bulls for center-forward Elton Brand.

Less than a month later, on July 18, 2001, he was moved to the Toronto Raptors for Charles Oakley and a 2002 second round draft pick. In a three-way trade with Miami, Toronto sent Skinner to Cleveland on Oct. 26, 2001.

The 76ers, who lost to the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs in May after reaching the NBA Finals in 2001, sent center Dikembe Mutombo to the New Jersey Nets for forward Keith Van Horn and center Todd MacCulloch earlier this month.

Atlanta Thrashers ink two

ATLANTA, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Defenseman Daniel Tjarnqvist and center Dan Snyder, a pair of restricted free agents, Tuesday re-signed with the Atlanta Thrashers.

Terms were not disclosed.

Tjarnqvist, 25, shared the lead among NHL rookie

defensemen last season with 18 points in 75 games. He had two goals and 16 assists and led all first-year players with a team-high average of 26.9 shifts per game.

The native of Sweden helped his country to the bronze medal at the 2002 World Championships.

The 24-year-old Snyder split last season between the Thrashers and Chicago of the American Hockey League. In 11 games with the

Thrashers, he had one goal and one assist.

Rucchin gets long-term deal from Ducks

ANAHEIM, Calif., Aug. 27 (UPI) -- The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, who had the second-fewest goals in the NHL last season, have agreed to terms with center Steve Rucchin on a four-year


The team did not disclose financial terms, but the Orange County Register reported it is an $11.8 million pact.

Injuries have limited Rucchin to 54 games over the last two seasons. In 2001-02, he missed 44 games because of a stress fracture of his left tibia. He had seven goals and 16 assists.

Rucchin, 31, a restricted free agent, was selected by Anaheim with the second overall pick in the 1994 supplemental draft and has spent his entire career with the Ducks. He ranks third on

the team's all-time list with 113 goals, 218 assists and 331 points.

Rucchin also has 116 penalty minutes in 452 NHL games. His best season was 1996-97, when he had 19 goals, 48 assists and a plus-26 rating.

Anaheim finished last in the Pacific Division last season with a 29-42-8-3 record, and its 175 goals were just 11 more than the expansion

Columbus Blue Jackets.

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