New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro sprained his left knee, but might miss only one game. DiPietro was injured during warmups Wednesday night before the Islanders faced the Toronto Maple Leafs. He lasted only one period of New York’s 4-3 overtime victory. He underwent an MRI on Thursday and stayed in New York for treatment instead of joining the team in Ottawa for a game that night.
Eight-time Pro Bowl receiver Marvin Harrison returned to practice with the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday after missing 10 games. Harrison took part in a full practice Thursday and may be available for limited work against Tennessee on Sunday night. Harrison has not played since Oct. 22 because of a left knee injury.
With a potentially historic NFL game on their schedules Saturday, three television stations in the Boston and New York areas were thrilled. When they learned that two competing networks would also be airing the Patriots-Giants matchup, they believed their contracts had been violated. The league and the stations were “working through contractual issues” on Thursday, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.
Tom Brady looked into the TV cameras, smiled and gave some advice to the coach whose defense leads the NFL in throwing quarterbacks to the ground. As a matter of self-preservation, Brady would rather not see Osi Umenyiora, Michael Strahan and Justin Tuck charging at him. Besides, the Giants might as well rest their top players because they’re locked into their first-round playoff game anyway.
Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Warren Sapp was fined $75,000 on Thursday by the NFL for his confrontation with game officials that led to his ejection last week. Sapp avoided a suspension, however. The league said Sapp was punished for “physical and verbal actions toward game officials that drew an unprecedented three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and ejection from last Sunday’s game.”…
The Arizona Cardinals don’t intend to let big-play linebacker Karlos Dansby get away when he becomes an unrestricted free agent after this season. If they can’t re-sign him, expect the Cardinals to use the franchise tag to force him to stay. “Karlos is a valued player and he’s recognized as being one of our core players,” general manager Rod Graves said on Thursday.
Tennessee defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth took part in his first full practice since Nov. 30 on Thursday, and he couldn’t have been happier. “I’ve still got to knock some of this rust off. Playing helps, but I want to get back to playing the good technique where I was at before I left,” Haynesworth said.
Bill Parcells reported to his new job and quickly put aside one theory about what ails the Miami Dolphins. It turns out they really do practice. Parcells was on the field for Thursday’s workout and a firsthand look at the NFL’s worst team. He signed a four-year contract last week to become executive vice president of football operations.
Brodie Croyle was able to throw without any problem Thursday, and he will probably start Sunday when the Kansas City Chiefs try to snap an eight-game skid in their season finale at the New York Jets. Croyle missed most of last week’s game at Detroit when he bruised his throwing hand while trying to tackle a defender who was running back an interception for a touchdown.
Heat center Shaquille O’Neal and point guard Jason Williams were listed as day-to-day Thursday, after both had nagging injuries checked out by Miami team doctors. O’Neal got treatment on his achy hips. Tests performed on Williams’ sore left knee did not reveal any major problems, and both may be available when the struggling Heat (8-21) host the Orlando Magic on Friday.
Jim Boylan was promoted Thursday to interim head coach of the Chicago Bulls, who fired Scott Skiles on Monday after the team’s disappointing start. Boylan was in his fourth season as an assistant under Skiles and has 14 years experience in the NBA but none as a head coach at the pro level. “Jim has paid his dues as an assistant coach and has his own ideas on the way he wants us to play,” Bulls…
Tracy McGrady will miss Houston’s next two games to rest his ailing left knee. McGrady missed the second half of the Rockets’ 97-92 loss to Orlando on Dec. 19 with soreness in the knee. He sat out Houston’s loss to Denver the next night. He played a total of 50 minutes in Houston’s last two games, a win in Chicago on Dec.