Nadal to be given stem-cell treatment

Rafael Nadal‘s doctor said Monday that the 14-time Grand Slam winner will receive stem-cell treatment on his ailing back.

Angel Ruiz-Cotorro said that “we are going to put cells in a joint in his spine” next week in Barcelona.

Nadal was already sidelined for the rest of the season after having his appendix removed last week.

Ruiz-Cotorro, who has worked as a doctor for Nadal for the past 14 years, said Nadal’s back pain is “typical of tennis” players and that the treatment is meant to help repair his cartilage and is similar to stem-cell treatment Nadal received on his knee last year.

He said Nadal is expected to return to training in early December.

Several NFL players and baseball players have received stem cell treatment. Nadal’s fellow Spaniard, Pau Gasol, center for the Chicago Bulls, received stem-cell treatment on his knee in 2013.

Djokovic, Wawrinka win in ATP Finals

Two-time defending champion Novak Djokovic extended his indoor winning streak with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Marin Cilic in his opening round-robin match at the ATP Finals, after Stan Wawrinka put his recent struggles behind him with an equally comfortable victory in London.

Djokovic moved two wins away from sealing the year-end No. 1 spot, and improved his record against the U.S. Open champion to 11-0 with a dominant display that lasted only 56 minutes.

The top-ranked Serb has now won his last 28 matches indoors.

He will next take on Wawrinka, who made the most of Tomas Berdych‘s error-laced performance in a 6-1, 6-1 win earlier Monday.


Keselowski to drive in Nationwide finale

Team Penske will have Brad Keselowski race in this week’s Nationwide Series finale instead of Joey Logano.

The decision came one day after Logano advanced to NASCAR’s championship race while Keselowski was eliminated from the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

Logano will race Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway for his first NASCAR championship.

Keselowski will also be in the Sprint Cup finale, but is not one of the four drivers eligible to win the title.

So Penske swapped drivers for Saturday’s race, which will decide the owners’ championship. Team Penske has a 29-point lead over Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide standings after Keselowski’s victory last weekend at Phoenix.


UConn suspends player for obscene gesture

The University of Connecticut suspended a woman’s soccer player who made an obscene gesture to a television camera after the Huskies’ win in Sunday’s American Athletic Conference championship game.

Freshman Noriana Radwan showed her middle finger to an ESPNU camera while celebrating with teammates after the Huskies beat the University of South Florida Bulls 3-2 on penalty kicks.

Coach Len Tsantiris apologized to the conference, USF and those who watched the game on television.

He said Radwan has been suspended indefinitely from team activities and will not play in the NCAA tournament.

U.S. team sets roster for exhibitions

Lee Nguyen could make his first U.S. national team appearance in seven years, and DaMarcus Beasley is back for the first time since this year’s World Cup.

They were among 25 players selected Monday for exhibition games against Colombia in London on Friday and against Ireland in Dublin four days later.

Nguyen, a 28-year-old midfielder, was fourth in Major League Soccer this season with 18 goals for New England, the most among Americans.

He made his national team debut in a 2007 exhibition against China and played twice in that year’s Copa America.

Beasley, the Americans’ starting left back, returned to MLS after the World Cup to join Houston.


Former Vikings safety dies of ALS

Former Minnesota Vikings safety Orlando Thomas has died of complications from ALS. He was 42.

Mr. Thomas was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2007.

He died on Sunday night in his hometown of Crowley, La. The death was confirmed by the Vikings, Mark Bartelstein, the former agent for Thomas, and Glenn Boullion, the director of Geesey-Ferguson Funeral Home in Crowley.

Mr. Thomas was a hard-hitting starter for seven seasons for the Vikings, the last one coming in 2001. He led the NFL in interceptions with nine as a rookie in 1995.

  • Tennessee will call all its teams the Volunteers and will phase out the Lady Volunteers nickname for all women’s sports except basketball starting next year. The school said it was making the change as part of a brand restructuring that coincides with its move from Adidas to Nike as its apparel provider. The switch takes effect July 1. The release said women’s basketball would be exempt from the move “because of the accomplishments and legacy of the championship program built by coach
  • Pat Summitt
  • and her former players.”
  • Duke said injured football players
  • Kelby Brown
  • and
  • Braxton Deaver
  • have received sixth years of eligibility for 2015. Both players suffered season-ending injuries in August. Brown, a linebacker, tore his left anterior cruciate ligament on Aug. 11 while Deaver, a tight end, tore his right ACL a week later.

— The Associated Press

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