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Headlines from around the world in sports

NFL

Giants release leading rusher
Bradshaw, tackle Canty

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The New York Giants continued their roster purge after missing the playoffs, cutting halfback Ahmad Bradshaw and defensive tackle Chris Canty.

The Giants announced the moves yesterday. The release of the two starters came one day after New York let starting weakside linebacker Michael Boley go after four seasons.

They all had big salaries and battled injuries last season. Bradshaw, the Giants’ leading rusher the past three seasons, has been bothered by foot and ankle problems for years. Boley had shoulder and hamstring issues and Canty had knee problems. Bradshaw was to earn $4.25 million and become expendable with the play of rookie David Wilson. Canty was to earn $6.5 million next season.

NFL

Packers WR Driver formally retires after 14 seasons

GREEN BAY, Wis. – Donald Driver rewrote the Green Bay Packers record books, and yesterday morning the wildly popular wide receiver might’ve rewritten the book on how a player should call it a career.

Officially retiring after 14 seasons – all with the Packers, something that was extremely important to him – the franchise’s all-time leading receiver celebrated his career during an unprecedented event inside the Lambeau Field atrium with 1,500 fans, his family, Packers coaches, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt and a handful of teammates.

Driver says it was a tough decision but he’s ready for the next chapter in his life. He retires after catching 743 passes for 10,137 yards, making the team as a seventh-round draft pick out of Alcorn State in 1999.

BASEBALL

Helton arrested for DUI

DENVER – Five-time All-Star Todd Helton was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence. The Colorado Rockies first baseman was arrested at about 2:30 a.m. yesterday in the Denver suburb of Thornton.

In a statement released by the Rockies, Helton says he is embarrassed and apologized to his family, the team and the community. He added, “I humbly ask your forgiveness.”

Officials in Thornton say Helton was arrested after someone called police to report a drunken driver. They say Helton’s blood-alcohol content was over the legal limit but they haven’t released the number.

Helton is a career .320 hitter. The 39-year-old played only 69 games last year before undergoing hip surgery in August. He is expected to return for his 17th season this year.

BASEBALL

Twins: Swarzak has cracked ribs – from wrestling

MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota Twins pitcher Anthony Swarzak has two cracked ribs, the freak result of some ill-fated horseplay during a gathering with teammates last month.

Swarzak will miss at least the first two weeks of spring training, a setback to his bid for a roster spot as a long reliever.

General Manager Terry Ryan said yesterday that Swarzak was hurt the night of Jan. 25 when he was wrestling with other unnamed Twins. They were together that weekend for the team’s annual fan festival.

Swarzak felt soreness on his left side that didn’t go away, and he was recently diagnosed with the fractures. Ryan says the 27-year-old right-hander was not in a fight.

BASEBALL

Rays finalize deals with
Farnsworth, Johnson

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Kyle Farnsworth and second baseman/outfielder Kelly Johnson finalized one-year contracts with the Tampa Bay Rays.

The team announced Tuesday that Farnsworth agreed to a base salary of $1.25 million for this season. The 36-year-old right-hander missed much of last season with an elbow strain sustained during spring training and wound up going 1-6 with a 4.00 ERA in 34 appearances for the Rays.

The 30-year-old Johnson batted .225 with 16 homers and 55 RBI for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012. He agreed to a $2.45 million, one-year deal that includes performance bonuses of $50,000 each for 550 and 600 plate appearances.

BASEBALL

Nats add converted 1B
Owings on minor-league deal

WASHINGTON – The Washington Nationals agreed to terms with pitcher-turned-first baseman Micah Owings for a minor league contract with an invitation to major league spring training.

The 30-year-old Owings is a career .283 hitter with nine home runs and 35 RBI in 219 plate appearances.

He went 32-33 as a pitcher over six seasons with Arizona, Cincinnati and San Diego.

NHL

Blue Jackets F Dubinsky fined, not suspended

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Blue Jackets forward Brandon Dubinsky was fined $10,000 yesterday, the maximum allowed under the new NHL collective bargaining agreement, for boarding Los Angeles defenseman Rob Scuderi in Columbus’s 4-2 loss to the Kings on Tuesday. He will not be suspended.

The incident occurred at 11:29 of the second period, and set off a rash of penalties. Not long after, Dubinsky and Los Angeles forward Mike Richards fought. All told, 37 minutes in penalties were handed out, and Dubinsky was assessed a major penalty for the original incident, as well as a game misconduct.

Dubinsky was acquired over the summer from the New York Rangers in the trade for forward Rick Nash. He has four points this season.

TENNIS

Nadal beats Delbonis in first singles in seven months

VINA DEL MAR, Chile – Rafael Nadal rebounded from a poor start to defeat Federico Delbonis of Argentina, 6-3, 6-2, yesterday in the second round of the VTR Open.

It was his first singles match since losing in Wimbledon more than seven months ago.

Nadal won in doubles on Tuesday with partner Juan Monaco, but the singles debut was a bigger test for the Spaniard and his injured left knee, which kept him away from the competitive game since June 28.

The seven-time French Open champion said Tuesday he’s tired of answering questions about his knee and must adjust to playing with the pain. Nadal has not had surgery and is undergoing therapy and playing with a bandage.

TENNIS

Venus Williams pulls out of Qatar Open with back injury

DOHA, Qatar – Venus Williams withdrew from next week’s Qatar Open due to an ongoing lower back injury.

The 23rd-ranked Williams has been hampered by back problems since the Australian Open. She missed the Open GDF Suez tournament and will skip the upcoming Fed Cup match against Italy because of the injury.

Andrea Hlavackova will replace Williams in the Qatar tournament.

Williams lost in straight sets to Maria Sharapova in the third round of the Australian Open, and then lost in the quarterfinals of the doubles alongside younger sister Serena.

TENNIS

Nieminen beats Davydenko in France, ending long drought

MONTPELLIER, France – Jarkko Nieminen of Finland beat fifth-seeded Nikolay Davydenko, 6-3, 7-6 (8), in the second round of the Open Sud de France yesterday, defeating the Russian for the first time in 10 years and reaching his second quarterfinal of the season.

Davydenko had won their previous four matches, with Nieminen’s last win coming on clay at the Rome Masters in 2003. He broke Davydenko’s serve three times in the match.

In other first-round matches, sixth-seeded Julien Benneteau of France led, 6-3, 4-2, when Romania’s Adrian Ungur retired with a thigh injury. Benneteau plays Victor Hanescu in the second round.

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