Sports briefs for Friday, Dec. 27, 2012

Posted Dec. 27, 2012, at 8:51 p.m.

NFL-Seahawks’ Sherman wins appeal of suspension

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has won his appeal of a four-game suspension for violating the National Football League drugs policy and will be eligible for the playoffs, he and his attorney said on Thursday.

“I won,” Sherman said on his Twitter account.

Sherman, a key member of the Seahawks defense, and fellow cornerback Brandon Browner were suspended last month by the NFL after positive tests that violated the league’s performance-enhancing drugs policy.

Sherman appealed his suspension, saying a second cup with a broken seal had been used during his urine test, invalidating the results.

Former NFL executive Bob Wallace upheld the appeal, meaning Sherman can play in Seattle’s final regular season game against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday and in the playoffs.

Browner, who did not appeal, will complete his four-game suspension in Sunday’s game and also will be eligible for the postseason for the surging Seahawks.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league was reviewing the Sherman decision, but declined comment due to confidentiality provisions.

Sherman’s attorney praised the decision.

“We are very pleased that the hearing officer recognized that the egregious errors that occurred with Mr. Sherman’s collection required overturning the NFL’s discipline,” Maurice Suh said in a statement.

“Mr. Sherman provided honest testimony about a severely flawed process, and the hearing officer found him to be a credible man.”

Cowboys’ Brent’s alcohol level twice legal limit

Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent’s blood-alcohol content level was more than twice the legal limit on the night of a fatal crash that killed his teammate and friend Jerry Brown.

Irving police released a crash report Thursday that said Brent’s level was 0.189, above the Texas legal limit of 0.08. A search of his Mercedes sedan produced an unopened bottle of Cognac liquor, along with “multiple receipts” and the title to the car.

Brent was indicted Wednesday on one count of intoxication manslaughter in the Dec. 8 crash, and could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Hall-of-Famer Fisk pleads guilty to DUI

Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk pleaded guilty Thursday to a drunken-driving charge.

Fisk, 64, received a sentence of one year of court supervision, must pay $1,250 in court costs and undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation and counseling. Police found him asleep in his pickup truck in a suburban Chicago cornfield on Oct. 22, with an open bottle of whiskey on the floor.

Fisk’s lawyer, Stephen White, said in Will County court that Fisk wanted to accept responsibility for his actions.

“He stepped up to the plate,” White said.

Fisk’s signature moment came in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, while playing for the Boston Red Sox, when he won the game with a 12th-inning home run.

Report: Hideki Matsui to retire

Godzilla is retiring after 20 years of wreaking havoc on two continents.

Former outfielder Hideki Matsui is set to retire after a two-decade long career split evenly across the major leagues and Japan’s Yomiuri Giants, according to a report from Japanese media outlet Sanspo.

The 38-year-old last played with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012, but was released in August after he appeared in 34 games.

Matsui arrived in the U.S. to years this month, when he signed a four-year, $52-million deal with the New York Yankees. At the time, he was the highest paid Japanese player in baseball.

He left the Yankees after earning the MVP in the 2009 World Series, and signed a one-year, $6.5-million deal with the Los Angeles Angels.

In 10 major-league seasons, the lefty belted 175 homers and drove in 760 runs in 1,236 games. His best season came in 2004, when he clubbed 31 homers and knocked in 108, while batting .298.

Beckham considering offers

Former Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham is considering many “serious proposals,” but isn’t in a hurry to find a new team, according to multiple reports.

He’s been linked to clubs in France, Australia and Asia in what could be the stop of a decorated career for the 37-year-old former England captain.

Beckham’s five-year run in the United States ended with the Galaxy winning the MLS Cup earlier this month.

He had previously stated that it’s unlikely that he’ll return to the English Premier League, and he’s also reportedly ruled out Australia’s A-League.

Report: 49ers’ Justin Smith has partially torn triceps

San Francisco defensive end Justin Smith has a partially torn left triceps, according to a Sacramento Bee report, citing a source with knowledge of the injury.

Smith, who was selected to his third straight Pro Bowl on Wednesday, was hurt in the third quarter of a Dec. 16 game against the New England Patriots. His injury has been listed as “elbow” on the team’s injury reports.

He tried to return in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t. While surgery is a likely offseason option, the team hopes Smith can return for the playoffs. The 49ers would earn a first-round bye if they beat the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday and the Green Bay Packers lose to the Minnesota Vikings.

Knicks’ Felton says he’s out 4-6 weeks

New York Knicks point guard Raymond Felton told reporters Wednesday that he expects to miss four to six weeks with a fractured finger, but insisted he’ll play again this season.

“This isn’t a season-ending injury,” Felton told reporters in Phoenix, according to New York Newsday. “It’s something that will last 4 to 6 weeks at the most.”

Felton suffered a broken right pinkie finger during the third quarter of a Christmas Day loss to the Los Angeles Lakers when he and Steve Nash fought over a loose ball. X-rays revealed the break.

“I may need surgery,” Felton told reporters, according to the New York Post. “I got to do what’s best for my hand so I can get back and help this team.”

Jason Kidd started for Felton, who missed his first game of the season. The 28-year-old had averaged 15.8 points and leads the team with 6.3 assists per game.

Ward injury forces cancellation of title defense

Super middleweight champion Andre Ward will need surgery on his right shoulder, forcing an already postponed title defense against former middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik to be canceled, according to an ESPN.com report.

Pavlik’s manager, Cameron Dunkin, confirmed the report.

Ward was hurt late last month in a sparring session, leading to the postponement of the Jan. 26 HBO main event. Initially, promoter Dan Goossen and the network planned to reschedule the fight for March 2.

Dunkin told ESPN.com that he was told Wednesday night by Top Rank’s Bob Arum, Pavlik’s promoter, that Ward would be out for an extended period.

“Bob called me up and told me the fight was out and said, ‘What are we gonna do with Pavlik?’” Dunkin said. “He said Goossen called him and told him that Ward needed shoulder surgery. So I don’t know what we’re gonna do, but we’re going to move forward and get Kelly a fight and get him back in the ring.”

The cancelation leaves co-featured heavyweight world title elimination fight between Cristobal Arreola (35-2, 30 KOs) and Bermane Stiverne (22-1-1, 20 KOs) in limbo. The winner of the fight, which is now likely to be rescheduled, will become the mandatory challenger for titleholder Vitali Klitschko.

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