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Sports briefs for March 1, 2013

By Wire Service Reports, Special to the BDN

Jordan targeted in paternity suit by Atlanta woman

ATLANTA — An Atlanta woman has filed a paternity suit against former NBA star Michael Jordan, seeking child support and medical expenses, according to published reports.

Pamela Smith said she is also willing to take a paternity test to prove the former Chicago Bulls player is the father of her 16-year-old son, according to TMZ, the first to report the lawsuit filed Feb. 6 in Fulton County.

Spokespeople for Jordan have declined to comment on the reports.

In the suit, Smith said she became pregnant in 1995 and gave birth to her son in June 1996, according to several reports. Jordan was married to his former wife, Juanita, at the time. The two were married from 1989 to 2006, when they divorced. They have three children.

Forbes estimates Jordan, who turned 50 last month, earned about $80 million last year from endorsements and business ties to Nike, Gatorade, Hanes, Upper Deck, 2K Sports, Presbyterian Healthcare and Five Star Fragrances.

The magazine says the former athlete also owns six restaurants, a North Carolina car dealership, a motorsports team and 80 percent of the Charlotte Bobcats basketball team.

Panthers’ Bergenheim wins grievance

Florida Panthers forward Sean Bergenheim, who will miss the rest of the season with an injury, has won his medical grievance against the Panthers and will receive his full salary, TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported.

The Panthers suspended Bergenheim in January when he did not get medical clearance for a lower-body injury that the team believed was sustained while he was playing in Finland during the lockout.

Bergenheim, 28, was due $2.75 million this season, but a team can suspend a player without pay if he is injured while playing overseas.

Bergenheim filed a grievance claiming the injury was suffered before the lockout, not while playing in Finland. By winning the grievance, he will get his full salary, retroactive to the lockout.

According to the report, Bergenheim is expected to have surgery in area around his hip and lower abdomen.

Broncos place franchise tag on Clady

The Denver Broncos placed their franchise tag on offensive tackle Ryan Clady, according to ESPN, citing a league source.

Clady’s franchise tag salary for next season will be $9.828 million. He made $3.5 million last season in the final year of a five-year deal he signed as a rookie.

Clady reportedly rejected a five-year, $50-million contract from Denver, including $28 million guaranteed.

The 26-year-old has started every game of his career and has been selected to three Pro Bowls.

Sixers’ Bynum has doubts about playing this season

It’s looking more and more like knee problems will keep Philadelphia 76ers center Andrew Bynum off the court this season.

Byrum expressed optimism last week about playing at some point this year but changed his outlook Friday while speaking with reporters, citing swelling in his right knee after a scrimmage.

He said he feels no sense of urgency to return this season, which has six weeks left and the Sixers in the midst of a seven-game losing streak. Bynum will beome an unrestricted free agent this summer.

“Now it’s getting really late,” he said. “I don’t know.

“Being healthy is more important than everything else. If I am healthy, I’ll get a deal. I have to be able to play and I need to get to the point where I’m healthy to play.”

Bynum has yet to play a game for the Sixers after arriving last summer from the Los Angeles Lakers as part of a four-team trade.

Crawford might not be ready for Dodgers’ opener

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford will be out for at least a week after experiencing minor nerve irritation in his left elbow during spring training.

Crawford, who underwent Tommy John reconstruction surgery in August before he came to the Dodgers in a trade with Boston, will not throw or hit for a week, manager Don Mattingly said Friday. And there’s concern that Crawford might not be ready to play by opening day.

Dr. Neal ElAttrache examined Crawford on Thursday night in Los Angeles after he experienced irritation in the elbow from hitting live pitching. Rest and anti-inflammatory medication were prescribed.

“There doesn’t seem to be any panic,” Mattingly said, according to MLB.com. “We’re still being cautious. I look at this as more of a setback than I did the last couple of days. He can’t throw and hit. He can still do work. But this pushes it back a bit.”

The hope that Crawford would be ready for opening day on April 1 is now in question.

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