PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Tiger Woods described his recovery from back surgery as a ”very slow process” that offered him no timetable on when he can return for a summer filled with big championships.
Woods already missed the Masters, choosing to have microdiscectomy surgery March 31 to relieve pain from a pinched nerve.
In a wide-ranging blog on his website Monday, Woods said he is still sore from the incision and his only contact with golf clubs is a few putts and chips that do not require him to rotate his back.
Though he is uncertain when he can even start hitting half-shots, Woods made it sound as though he would not be ready for the U.S. Open on June 12-15 at Pinehurst No. 2, the major championship course where he has the most experience.
Michael Phelps will take another step in his comeback at a Grand Prix meet in Charlotte, North Carolina, on May 16.
His coach, Bob Bowman, told The Associated Press on Monday night that Phelps has entered the 100-meter butterfly and 200 freestyle at the Charlotte Grand Prix, though Bowman is not sure Phelps will compete in both.
The events are on the same day, keeping in line with the plan to build up Phelps’ endurance, but cut back on the sort of grueling, multi-day programs he once swam.
Phelps returned to competition at a meet in Arizona less than two weeks ago, his first since retiring after the 2012 London Games as the most decorated athlete in Olympic history.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – 76ers guard Michael Carter-Williams won the NBA’s Rookie of the Year Award.
Carter-Williams was only the third player since 1950-51 to lead all rookies in scoring (16.7), rebounding (6.3) and assists (6.2), joining Oscar Robertson (1960-61) and Alvan Adams (1975-76).
The league said that he received 104 of a possible 124 first-place votes. The Orlando Magic’s Victor Oladipo finished second and Trey Burke of the Utah Jazz was third.
MIAMI (AP) – LeBron James of the Miami Heat said Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant would be a deserving winner of the NBA MVP award.
It’s expected that Durant will be announced as this season’s MVP later this week. James has lauded Durant’s play this season several times in recent weeks, did so again Monday.
James says: ”Much respect to him and he deserves it. He had a big-time MVP season.”
A person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press that Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey agreed to a new three-year contract.
The agreement was reached one day after the Raptors lost Game 7 to the Brooklyn Nets in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The person requested anonymity because the team has not announced the deal.
Casey led the Raptors to a surprising 48-34 record and the Atlantic Division title in his third season with the team.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The Carolina Hurricanes fired coach Kirk Muller and most of his coaching staff one week into Ron Francis’ tenure as general manager.
Assistants John MacLean and Dave Lewis also were fired and goaltending coach Greg Stefan was reassigned back to the team’s pro scouting department.
Rod Brind’Amour, a third-year assistant who was the captain of Carolina’s Cup-winning team, will remain part of the coaching staff.
TORONTO (AP) – Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks and Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers are finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award.
The award is presented annually to the Most Valuable Player in the NHL, as voted by members of the NHL Players’ Association.
The three centers are also the finalists for the Hart Trophy, the NHL award given to the player considered most valuable to his team.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The proposed $765 million settlement of NFL concussion claims came under attack again, this time from retirees who said they would get ”nothing at all” for nagging health problems that limit their function.
Seven former players filed a motion to intervene in the court case pending in Philadelphia, which aims to settle thousands of claims through a grid-like formula that reaches $5 million for younger retirees with Alzheimer’s disease.
The latest objections come from men who can perhaps still work, but say they still suffer from headaches, personality changes, trouble multi-tasking and other side effects they link to concussions suffered while playing in the league.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The Philadelphia Eagles signed former Army ranger Alejandro Villanueva to a rookie free agent contract.
The 6-foot-9, 277-pound defensive lineman spent the last four years as an active member of the U.S. Army. He served three tours in Afghanistan and last played football as a wide receiver at Army in 2009.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) – Free agent defensive end Will Smith signed with the New England Patriots.
The 32-year-old veteran of 10 NFL seasons with New Orleans was a first-round draft pick out of Ohio State in 2004. He’s played in 139 NFL games with 120 starts and has 67 1/2 sacks, 20 forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries.
NEW YORK (AP) – Michael Vick’s new jersey number cost him $10,000 – all of it going to charity.
The New York Jets quarterback negotiated for the number with punter Ryan Quigley, who previously wore No. 1, during workouts and the two came to an agreement. Quigley gave it up on condition that Vick pay $10,000 for it and donate all of the money to charity.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Yasiel Puig was sore as he recovered from a jarring crash into an outfield wall, keeping him out of the starting lineup for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ series opener against the Washington Nationals.
Manager Don Mattingly said Puig remained day-to-day.
BOSTON (AP) – A Norman Rockwell painting of Boston Red Sox players that is estimated to sell for up to $30 million this month was shown off at Fenway Park Monday with two of the men depicted in the work on hand to reminisce about its creation.
The painting, ”The Rookie (Red Sox Locker Room),” appeared on the cover of the March 2, 1957, issue of the Saturday Evening Post. Christie’s in New York is offering it May 22 with a pre-sale estimate of $20 million to $30 million.
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) – Oregon State fired Craig Robinson after six seasons without making the NCAA tournament.
The brother-in-law of President Barack Obama, Robinson had a solid start in Corvallis, taking a program that had lost 21 straight Pac-12 games to an 18-win season in 2008-09.
The Beavers’ results under Robinson were uneven after that, with Oregon State finishing no better than fifth in the Pac-12 in his six seasons, including 10th this year.
NEW YORK (AP) – The Big Ten and Big East will begin a series of eight games in the first week of the 2015-16 season, and the multi-day event will be named for the late Dave Gavitt.
The games will take place the first Tuesday through Friday of the regular season and will be played at home sites, four from each conference. The original series is for eight years.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell has returned to her normal offseason schedule after completing chemotherapy treatments for leukemia.
Hatchell has been making recruiting visits along the East Coast and attending booster club events with other UNC coaches around the state in recent weeks. In a statement from the school, the Naismith Hall of Famer said ”a tough last seven months” has ”only made me stronger.”
LONDON (AP) – Liverpool wasted a three-goal lead in the final 16 minutes, crushing its Premier League title hopes with a 3-3 tie at Crystal Palace that put Manchester City in prime position to win its second championship in three seasons.
Liverpool built a 3-0 lead by the 55th minute on goals by Joe Allen, Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez, who tied the Premier League record of 31 goals in a 38-game season.
But Palace rallied in stunning fashion. Damian Delaney scored in the 79th minute on 25-yard left-footed shot that deflected off a leg of defender Glen Johnson and left goalkeeper Simon Mignolet no chance to stop it.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – NASCAR reached a seven-year contract extension with Camping World to remain the title sponsor of the Truck Series through 2022.
Camping World’s first seven-year deal ran through 2015, but CEO Marcus Lemonis was eager to extend it and began negotiations well in advance.
MADRID (AP) – Second-ranked Li Na started her Madrid Open campaign by overcoming a stubborn opponent just as third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska did to reach the second round.
Li’s clay debut began with an encouraging 6-1, 7-6 (7) victory over Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens before Radwanska also advanced thanks to a 7-6 (3), 6-2 win over Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard.