BC-AP Sports Preview Digest

Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Thursday. A full Sports Digest will be sent at about 3 p.m. All times EDT.

– The Yankees’ Michael Pineda is not the first major leaguer to head to the mound hoping to get away with using a foreign substance such as pine tar. He won’t be the last. He just got caught.

– MESA, Ariz. – Michael Phelps ends his nearly two-year retirement at the Arena Grand Prix. The 18-time Olympic gold medalist swims in the 100-meter butterfly morning preliminaries.

– INDIANAPOLIS – One day before Northwestern football players vote on creating college sports’ first union, the NCAA discusses a proposal that could change the governing body’s look.

– Three NBA playoff games: Indiana at Atlanta (7 p.m.); Oklahoma City at Memphis (8 p.m.); and L.A. Clippers at Golden State (10:30 p.m.).

– Three NHL playoff games: Boston at Detroit (8 p.m.); Colorado at Minnesota (9:30 p.m.); and San Jose at Los Angeles (10:30 p.m.).

– AVONDALE, La. – Billy Horschel begins the defense of his lone PGA title at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. The field also includes Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler and Patrick Reed.

– DALY CITY, Calif. – Suzann Pettersen returns to the LPGA Tour after missing three events because of a back injury. Also playing are Inbee Park and last week’s winner, Michelle Wie.

– MUNICH – Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone rejects accusations of bribery at his trial, saying he was blackmailed by a German banker who received a disputed $44 million payment.

– George Hincapie, the ”loyal lieutenant” who helped Lance Armstrong win seven Tour de France titles, peels back the shroud that has covered cycling’s dark era in an upcoming book.

– KATMANDU, Nepal – The Mount Everest climbing season is in disarray after major expedition companies cancel climbs and many Sherpas quit following the deadly avalanche.

– TOKYO – Yuzuru Hanyu has barely had time to dwell on his Olympic and world titles. Yet the Japanese figure skater already is thinking about how to improve next season.

– PETAH TIKVA, Israel – Arab and Jewish Israelis find common ground with a pro women’s soccer team. One club added five Arab-Israeli women, a move that has made waves in the league.