O'Neal MRI shows strain in left knee

Posted: February 25, 2005

Miami Heat center Shaquille O'Neal has a mildly sprained left knee but might play tonight against the Orlando Magic.

An MRI exam confirmed a very mild sprain, the team said yesterday. O'Neal, who did not comment to reporters waiting outside a Miami hospital, is listed as day-to-day.

He was injured in the first two minutes of Tuesday's game in Chicago when he leaped to catch an alley-oop pass from Dwyane Wade and landed awkwardly atop Bulls forward Othella Harrington. O'Neal stayed on the court for several minutes, clearly in pain.

O'Neal, a 12-time all-star, has missed only two full games because of injuries this year, compared with 15 in each of his previous three seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Colleges

Jamie McCormack of Rowan was named the New Jersey Athletic Conference coplayer of the year in women's basketball by a vote of the conference coaches announced yesterday.

The senior from Hamilton West in Mercer County is the leading scoring in the NJAC with 19.2 points a game.

Profs guard Kami Bernardo and forward Stephanie Finke were chosen to the NJAC second team.

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Two-time defending champion Temple will play St. Joseph's in the best-of-three championship series of the Delaware Valley Collegiate Hockey Conference.

Game 1 is tonight at 8:45 at the Warwick Ice Arena, 1621 Mearns Rd., Warwick Township, Bucks County.

Game 2 is tomorrow at at 5:30 p.m., and Game 3, if necessary, is Sunday at 7:15 p.m.

Duke guard Sean Dockery is out indefinitely because of a torn knee ligament he suffered Wednesday night against Georgia Tech.

Horse racing

Rockport Harbor galloped 1 1/2 miles at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., on Wednesday and is scheduled to work seven furlongs today, trainer John Servis told the Daily Racing Form.

"I haven't been this happy since [Kentucky] Derby day," said Servis, who trained Smarty Jones. The undefeated Rockport Harbor is on schedule to make his 3-year-old debut in the Grade III $250,000 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn on March 19.

The colt had some soreness in his left front hoof Sunday and his scheduled workout was postponed.

Soccer

The United States' World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica on June 4 is likely to be played in Salt Lake City.

The Americans, who opened the current round Feb. 9 with a 2-1 win at Trinidad and Tobago, play their next qualifier in Mexico on March 27, then face Honduras three days later in Birmingham, Ala.

After the game against Costa Rica, the U.S. team plays at Panama on June 8, the halfway point in the 10-game final round of qualifying.

The game would be part of a doubleheader, with Salt Lake meeting Dallas of the MLS.

Paris Saint-Germain was ordered to play tomorrow's French League game against Bastia in an empty stadium because of crowd trouble during a match against Metz in December.

Tennis

Top-seeded Amelie Mauresmo defeated Maria Kirilenko, 6-2, 6-2, to move into the semifinals at the Qatar Open, in Doha, Qatar.

Mauresmo will face fourth-seeded Alicia Molik in today's semifinals, while Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova plays former top-five player Daniela Hantuchova.

Mauresmo, winner of 10 of 12 matches this year, is aiming for her third consecutive final.

Top-ranked Roger Federer saved two match points and beat Juan Carlos Ferrero, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (6), to advance to the quarterfinals of the Dubai Open in the United Arab Emirates.

Federer, who won his third straight match in a third-set tiebreaker, will face seventh-seeded Mikhail Youzhny, a 7-5, 6-4 winner over Rainer Schuettler.

French Open champion Gaston Gaudio will miss Argentina's Davis Cup series against the Czech Republic next month because of a stomach injury.

Hockey

The Montreal Canadiens laid off an unspecified number of employees, more than a week after the NHL season was canceled because of the lockout.

A team spokesman would not say how many of the 140 full-time employees were let go. The employees were given severance packages.

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