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Sports briefs for Jan. 25, 2013

By Joe McLaughlin, BDN Staff

Pavano ruptures spleen during snowy fall

Free-agent right-hander Carl Pavano ruptured his spleen in a fall while shoveling snow in the driveway of his home in Vermont and will need six to eight weeks to recover, FOXSports.com reported.

With training camps set to open in a few weeks, Pavano has yet to sign with a team for 2013 and won’t be ready for the start of spring training if a suitor comes calling.

The injury-plagued pitcher made only 11 starts for the Minnesota Twins last season because of a bone bruise and sore right shoulder, going 2-5 with a 6.00 ERA. The previous season, Pavano struggled to a 9-13 record with a 4.30 ERA.

Two teams that had shown interest in the 37-year-old Pavano during the offseason appear to have backed off. The New York Mets signed pitcher Shaun Marcum on Thursday and the Colorado Rockies are no longer pursuing him, according to the Denver Post.

Lakers not considering firing D’Antoni

The Los Angeles Lakers’ struggles have led to speculation about the job security of coach Mike D’Antoni, but Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register reported the Lakers are not thinking about firing D’Antoni.

“I was told Thursday the Lakers are not considering a buyout or firing of D’Antoni as head coach,” the Register’s Ding wrote.

The Lakers signed D’Antoni to a three-year contract to replace Mike Brown, who was fired Nov. 9.

D’Antoni is 12-20 as Lakers head coach heading into Friday’s game against Utah.

There have been reports about how the style D’Antoni has instituted may not suit the players he has.

Delonte West joins D-League team

Guard Delonte West, who was released by the Dallas Mavericks three months ago after being suspended twice, joined the Texas Legends of the NBA Developmental League on Friday, the Legends announced on their website.

West can sign with any NBA team while playing for the Legends, but he could have signed with any NBA team after becoming a free agent when the Mavs released him.

The Legends, who are based in Frisco, Texas, were next in line to pick up players from the D-League player pool, and they acquired West when he joined that pool.

West has bipolar disorder and was involved in two locker room incidents during the preseason while with Dallas. He was suspended twice and subsequently waived in October.

ESPN.com reported that the Memphis Grizzlies considered signing West to 10-day contract this week, but apparently decided not to do so.

West averaged 9.6 points while playing for Dallas last season.

Vegas likes 49ers QB Kaepernick

Bettors are putting a lot of money on San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in Super Bowl XLVII.

In fact, it’s a good bet that Kaepernick could wind up as the player with with the most money wagered on him in prop bets in Super Bowl history, according to an ESPN.com report.

Jimmy Vaccaro of William Hill said the money is pouring in on Kaepernick, who took over as the starter in November and helped lead the 49ers to a Super Bowl matchup on Feb. 3 against the Baltimore Ravens. Part of Kaepernick’s popularity in Las Vegas has to do with his tie to the state as a former University of Nevada standout.

“We put 10 props on him last week and generated more than $100,000 in bets,” Vaccaro told ESPN. “To put that in perspective, a good prop is when you can draw $2,500 to $5,000 in bets.”

Prop bets on Kaepernick so far include whether he will have 100 yards rushing and 300 yards passing, and if he’ll throw a touchdown pass or an interception first.

Cowboys TE Witten wins Bart Starr Award

Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten will receive the Bart Starr Award given annually to an NFL player for outstanding character and leadership off the field.

Witten will be presented with the honor at a Super Bowl breakfast on Feb. 1 in New Orleans.

Other finalists for the award were Tennessee Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck.

Among Witten’s charitable endeavors are his SCORE Foundation, which supports various domestic-violence outreach programs and building projects in Texas and his native Tennessee.

The award, which is named after Pro Football Hall of Fame and former Green Bay quarterback Bart Starr, is voted on by NFL players. Previous winners include London Fletcher, Drew Brees, Kurt Warner, LaDainian Tomlinson, Reggie White and Mike Singletary.

Coyotes’ Lombardi may be out awhile with injury

Phoenix Coyotes center Matthew Lombardi suffered an injury in Thursday night’s 5-3 loss at San Jose, and Coyotes general manager Don Maloney said in a radio interview on Friday he might out awhile.

“Matthew got injured last night and may be out for a significant amount of time,” Maloney said on SiriusXM NHL radio.

Maloney did not specify Lombardi’s injury or how it occurred.

He left the ice for good after a 14-second shift in the second period.

Lombardi has a history of head injuries, although there is no indication that he sustained a head injury Thursday.

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