Around the Nation (Feb. 18): Jeter takes part in most drills with Yankees

Associated Press Published:

Associated Press

BASEBALL

Jeter takes part in most drills with Yankees

TAMPA, Fla. -- Derek Jeter has taken part in most of the drills during the New York Yankees' first full-squad workout.

The 38-year-old captain participated in on-field batting practice Monday for the first time since ankle surgery last October. Jeter, who has been hitting in an indoor cage, also took part in a 25-minute defensive session at shortstop.

Although he didn't take part in agility or running, Jeter jogged onto the field at Steinbrenner Field to a loud ovation from several hundred fans. They cheered when Jeter lined a ball to right on his first BP swing.

Jeter broke his left ankle lunging for a grounder in the AL championship series opener against Detroit on Oct. 1 and had surgery a week later. He says he will be in the lineup for opening day against Boston on April 1.

Kotchman injures finger, needs stitches

JUPITER, Fla. -- Miami Marlins first baseman Casey Kotchman has received four stitches to close a cut on his left ring finger after running into a pop-up machine during infield drills.

Manager Mike Redmond says Kotchman would be evaluated Tuesday.

Redmond said Monday that "after the evaluation "we'll see where we're at, hopefully it won't be more than a few days." The manager says Kotchman was injured when he "tried to get around the machine and grabbed onto it and I guess cut his finger somehow."

Kotchman signed a minor-league contract with Miami on Friday. Known for his defense, Kotchman has a career .262 average with 71 homers and 387 RBI in nine seasons.

Cubs' pitcher Garza to undergo MRI

MESA, Ariz. -- Chicago Cubs starter Matt Garza will undergo tests to determine the severity of the injury he sustained while pitching batting practice.

Garza, who made just 18 starts last season because of an elbow injury, felt a twinge in his side while throwing on Sunday. The Cubs called it a "mild strain" but general manager Jed Hoyer said Monday that the right-hander will undergo an MRI so team doctors will have a better sense of how long Garza will be sidelined. Hoyer said Garza will need a "rest period" and the tests should reveal "how long that is."

Garza went 5-7 with a 3.91 ERA last year. He made his final start on July 21, when he left a game in St. Louis because of a "stress reaction" in his elbow.

Torre ready to manage Team USA in WBC

PHOENIX -- The game is supposed to be America's national pastime, but the United States has not fared well in the World Baseball Classic.

Joe Torre is putting his manager's uniform back on to lead Team USA in this year's competition, but he cautions that there are reasons the U.S. has not won, or even made it to the title game, in the first two editions of the worldwide competition.

Torre, speaking at a news conference in Phoenix, says players usually use spring training to get ready physically for the long major league season. But with the World Baseball Classic, they are asked to get that competitive edge in a hurry against countries that take this competition very seriously.

Japan won the first two tournaments.

COLLEGE

Indiana expects Oladipo to play at Michigan State

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Indiana coach Tom Crean expects Victor Oladipo to play at Michigan State.

Oladipo limped off the court Saturday with a sprained left ankle in the first half of a win against Purdue and didn't play in the second half.

Crean says Oladipo practiced some on Sunday and is doing a great job of rehabilitating his injury. In a five-point win over the Spartans on Jan. 27, the shooting guard had 21 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three blocks for the Hoosiers.

The winner of Tuesday night's game in East Lansing will earn sole possession of first place in the conference with four regular-season games remaining. Top seeding in next month's NCAA Tournament also might be at stake.

MVC disciplines refs from WSU-ISU game

ST. LOUIS -- The Missouri Valley Conference has disciplined the officiating crew from Sunday night's Wichita State-Illinois State game after it awarded technical foul shots to the wrong player in the closing seconds of the game.

The league office said in a statement Monday the crew of David Hall, Gerry Pollard and Paul Janssen wrongly awarded two foul shots to the Shockers' Cleanthony Early after calling a Flagrant 1 technical foul on Illinois State star Jackie Carmichael with 40 seconds left.

The officials reviewed video during a stoppage in play that showed Carmichael kicking Wichita State's Tekele Cotton above the shoulder on a defensive rebound.

The Shockers were trailing 67-60 when the incident occurred. Early made both technical free throws and his 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left gave them a 68-67 victory.

The conference did not say how the officials were disciplined.

Duke mourns death of former star Henderson

DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke says former star Phil Henderson has died.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski said Monday that Henderson's mother told him that her son died Sunday at his home in the Philippines at the age of 44. No cause of death was given.

Henderson was a senior captain and the leading scorer on the 1989-90 Duke team that lost to UNLV in the national championship game. He averaged 18.5 points that year and scored 22.3 points in tournament play during that postseason.

Krzyzewski says the Duke basketball family was "deeply saddened" to hear of Henderson's death and called him "a talented player and a good man with a gentle soul."

Henderson was taken by the Dallas Mavericks in the second round of the 1990 NBA draft but played internationally as a pro.

FOOTBALL

Packers release center Jeff Saturday

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers have released veteran center Jeff Saturday.

General manager Ted Thompson announced the move Monday. Saturday signed a two-year deal with the Packers as an unrestricted free agent in March 2012 after playing 13 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. He had been the Colts' full-time starting center since 2000. He became a fan favorite, a key figure in the NFL Players Association and one of Peyton Manning's closest friends.

Saturday, a six-time Pro Bowl selection in 14 seasons, was benched as a starter with two games left in the regular season in favor of Evan Dietrich-Smith.

Chiefs sign safety Husain Abdullah

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Chiefs have signed former Vikings safety Husain Abdullah, who gave up football last season to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, in an attempt to add depth to their defensive backfield.

A practicing Muslim, Abdullah turned down a contract offer from Minnesota to speak at mosques across the country along with his brother, former Cardinals defensive back Hamza Abdullah.

The two of them then journeyed to Saudi Arabia.

Abdullah entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2008. The former Washington State star made 24 starts in 54 games over the next four seasons for the Vikings, making 167 tackles and two sacks with four interceptions. He also was a contributor on special teams.

The Chiefs have little depth behind starting safeties Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis.

BASKETBALL

76ers sign Jeremy Pargo for rest of season

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia 76ers have signed guard Jeremy Pargo for the remainder of the season.

Pargo was playing on a 10-day contract. He had 12 points, six assists and four rebounds in his debut against Charlotte on Feb. 9, and has averaged 8 points, 2.7 assists and 2.3 rebounds in three games.

Pargo played in 27 games for Cleveland this season, making 11 starts.

He averaged 7.8 points, 2.6 assists and 1.3 rebounds with the Cavaliers.

The 76ers (22-29) return to action at Minnesota on Wednesday.

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