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Headlines from around the world in sports

BASEBALL

Rangers’ Harrison to have back surgery next week

ARLINGTON, Texas – Texas Rangers opening-day starter Matt Harrison is going to have back surgery and likely will be out of the rotation until after the All-Star break.

The Rangers said yesterday that Harrison, on the disabled list because of an inflamed nerve in his back, is scheduled for an operation Tuesday to repair a herniated disk.

An 18-game winner and All-Star last season, Harrison still was having problems after epidural injections in his back.

The left-hander went 0-2 with an 8.44 ERA as tried to pitch with soreness in his lower back before going on the DL.

BASEBALL

Marlins designate reliever Maine for assignment

CINCINNATI – Miami designated reliever John Maine for assignment to the minors before the second game of a series against the Cincinnati Reds.

The Marlins called up right-hander Tom Koehler from Triple-A New Orleans yesterday. Manager Mike Redmond said he’ll fill Maine’s long-relief role. Koehler made three starts for New Orleans and had a 1.06 ERA.

Maine pitched two innings during an 11-1 loss to the Reds on Thursday night. He gave up five hits, five walks and six runs. In four appearances covering 7 1∕3 innings this season, Maine had allowed 15 hits, five walks and 10 runs.

NFL

Seahawks re-sign kicker Hauschka

RENTON, Wash. – Kicker Steven Hauschka re-signed with the Seattle Seahawks yesterday. He was an unrestricted free agent.

Hauschka has been the Seahawks kicker for the last two seasons after being claimed off waivers from Denver before the start of the 2011 season. He’s made 49 of 57 field goals during the two seasons with a long of 52 yards. Last season he scored a career-high 118 points.

For his career, Hauschka has converted 82 percent of his field goal attempts.

NFL

Cowboys re-sign safety McCray

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys re-signed safety Danny McCray after the most productive season of his career.

McCray, a restricted free agent, was second on the team with a career-high 87 tackles as the Cowboys battled multiple injuries in the middle of their secondary.

The Cowboys expect Barry Church to return as a starter at strong safety after he missed most of last season with a torn Achilles tendon.

Dallas needs depth after waiving Gerald Sensabaugh this offseason. The Cowboys added Will Allen, a nine-year veteran, and have high hopes for Matt Johnson, who missed all of his rookie season with a hamstring injury.

NBA

Lakers’ Nash angling for playoff return

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Steve Nash is hoping to return to the Los Angeles Lakers’ lineup in time for their playoff opener.

Nash practiced with the Lakers yesterday at their training complex, going through half-court offensive drills and testing his injured right hamstring. The two-time NBA MVP missed Los Angeles’s final eight games of the regular season with the latest injury in a season full of setbacks.

After getting recent epidural injections, Nash said he’s very optimistic he’ll return tomorrow when the seventh-seeded Lakers open against San Antonio.

NBA

Noah’s status for Bulls in question

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Joakim Noah’s status for the Chicago Bulls’ first-round playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets is in question because of his injured right foot.

Noah did little in practice yesterday. He said he’s not sure if he’ll play in Game 1 at Brooklyn today, and Coach Tom Thibodeau called him day to day for the series.

Noah battled plantar fasciitis in the past and the issue cropped up again this season, causing him to miss 15 games since the start of February.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Auburn fans bid goodbye to Toomer’s oaks

AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn fans are set for a final farewell to the beloved oak trees at Toomer’s Corner.

Thousands of Tigers fans are expected to attend a rolling party at the intersection of campus and downtown today after the Tigers’ spring game.

The trees, poisoned two years ago by a fan of rival Alabama, will come down a few days later.

Rolling the two live oaks with toilet paper to celebrate big Auburn wins is a tradition going back more than four decades in a state that cherishes its college football.

Auburn is planning a seven-figure renovation of Toomer’s Corner that will include the planting of more oaks.

COLLEGE LACROSSE

Rutgers suspends Coach Brecht during review

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Rutgers University suspended its head men’s lacrosse coach as it investigates allegations of verbal abuse.

The university announced the suspension yesterday, saying that Brian Brecht will continue to be paid.

The school did not give details of allegations.

Rutgers, under the direction of President Robert Barchi and Interim Athletic Director Carl Kirschner, has been reviewing videos of practices in all sports since men’s basketball Coach Mike Rice was fired this month after a video was made public that showed him kicking players, throwing balls at them and yelling anti-gay slurs.

The university also said yesterday that it has formed a search committee for a new athletic director to replace Tim Pernetti. He resigned amid the scandal.

SPRINT CUP

Petty: Someone undoubtedly snitched on Penske

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Richard Petty believes there’s a snitch. Petty told reporters yesterday at Kansas Speedway that Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano had already passed “two or three inspections and hadn’t been caught,” leading him to believe that someone must have told NASCAR about unapproved parts the two Penske Racing teams were using before last weekend’s race at Texas Motor Speedway.

“Undoubtedly, someone told them what the Penske crew was doing,” Petty said.

NASCAR penalized Penske Racing on Wednesday with six-race suspensions for seven crew members of Keselowski and Logano, along with $200,000 in fines. The drivers were also stripped of championship points, dropping defending champion Keselowski from second to fourth in the standings and Logano from ninth to 14th.

The suspensions are on hold as the team appeals, so the entire teams for Keselowski’s No. 2 Ford and Logano’s No. 22 are on hand at Kansas Speedway.

TENNIS

Nadal, Tsonga to face off in Monte Carlo semifinal

MONACO – Rafael Nadal defeated Grigor Dimitrov, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, yesterday to win his 45th straight match at the Monte Carlo Masters and reach the semifinals.

Nadal will meet sixth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who beat Stanislas Wawrinka, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

The Spaniard dropped only his third set in his last five tournaments here, the previous times against Andy Murray in the 2011 semifinals and Novak Djokovic in the 2009 final. He was under pressure at 30-30 in the eighth game of the final set before hitting a crucial serve.

Late yesterday, the top-ranked Djokovic played Jarkko Nieminen of Finland and seventh-seeded Richard Gasquet of France faced Fabio Fognini of Italy.

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