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Aug. 18, 2010 at 5:15 PM
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Brett Favre returns for 20th NFL season

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn., Aug. 18 (UPI) -- Quarterback Brett Favre said Wednesday he's shaking off an ankle injury and is returning to the Minnesota Vikings for a 20th NFL season.

Favre, meeting with reporters at the Vikings' Winter Park headquarters in suburban Minneapolis, said he's foregoing retirement and instead made a "tough choice" to come back for one more year after taking the team to the NFC title game against the New Orleans Saints last season.

"It was very tough, obviously. I can make a case for both playing/not playing," Favre said. "It was really about the team. Believe me, when I left New Orleans, a big part of me was -- I don't want to say done, but the fact that we lost that game -- it's hard to make people understand."

Favre has famously struggled with decisions on whether or not to retire in each of the last two seasons, with injuries playing a role each time. He hurt his ankle in the New Orleans game and had surgery to remove scar tissue and bone spurs from it in the off-season.

Favre said although the procedure wasn't 100 percent successful, he ultimately decided he was healthy enough to play.

"I needed surgery three years ago on my ankle. It's a chronic ankle," Favre said. "I had a visit with Dr. (James) Andrews last Thursday. Surprisingly, a new spur had already surfaced in the new X-ray.

"Fact is, it's just something I have to deal with. There is a little bit more range of motion since the surgery, but we're not talking about a lot."

BYU said thinking independently

SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- There is speculation BYU is considering leaving the Mountain West Conference and going the independent route in football, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

The newspaper said talk of a Cougars exodus from the conference started Tuesday evening with a tweet on the Colorado State football Twitter feed that was followed by an ESPN report BYU was seriously exploring that option. The speculation is BYU would rejoin the Western Athletic Conference for all sports other than football.

The Mountain West Conference has lost Utah to the Pac-10.

BYU would have to notify the conference by Sept. 1 if it wants to quit in time for the 2011 season.

Garcia leaves NFL for UFL

OMAHA, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- Former NFL Pro Bowl quarterback Jeff Garcia is going to try his luck with the fledgling United Football League, signing with the new Omaha Nighthawks.

Garcia was an all-pro selection four times. He played for San Francisco, Cleveland, Detroit, Tampa Bay and had two stints with the Philadelphia Eagles.

The UFL is in its second season and Omaha is a first-year franchise.

"I am so ready and excited to be heading to the great city of Omaha to represent the Nighthawks of the United Football League," the 40-year-old quarterback said in a statement.

"I know that the state of Nebraska has a great passion for football and I can already see that the people of Omaha have fully embraced the Nighthawks. I still have the drive, commitment, and ability to play this game at the highest level and one thing that I definitely share with the people of Omaha is a passion for the game. I look forward to sharing these future experiences with the Nighthawks' great fans."

Garcia, who appeared in one game with the Eagles last season, threw for 25,537 yards, 161 touchdowns and 83 interceptions in 125 career NFL games.

The San Jose State product also starred in the Canadian Football League.

Report: Magic would like to run a team

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- Former NBA star Magic Johnson says he'd love to run a team in the league "if the right situation came."

The Hall of Famer owns a small percentage of his former team, the Los Angeles Lakers, but since the owner, Jerry Buss, is grooming his son, Jim, to run the club, Johnson is looking at other options, the Orange County Register reported.

"I'll still be a Laker forever," Johnson told NBA.com. "If there's a chance for me to go run a team, if I felt that's what I wanted to do, would I take it? Yeah, if the right situation came. I know one day that's going to probably happen. I love being with Dr. Buss and the Buss family, and working with them, but I know one day something is going to happen. I can definitely see me not being with the Lakers, yeah."

Johnson reportedly has expressed interest in being a part-owner and front-office executive with the Detroit Pistons, the Register said. Going to Detroit would put him back in his home state. He was a star at Michigan State before going on to the NBA.

Jerry Buss has called Johnson the "greatest team player" ever to play the game and says he wouldn't be surprised if he went to another club, the Register said.

"He's always doing something," Buss said. "He has so much energy."

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