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Sports briefs for Jan. 16, 2014

By Wire Reports, Special to the BDN

Brady returns to Patriots’ practice

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was on the field for the team’s morning practice after missing Wednesday’s session due to illness.

Brady reported to team headquarters early Wednesday but after learning he was ill, the Patriots requested he skip practice and avoid spreading the bug to teammates before a weekend trip to Denver for the AFC Championship game.

“I feel great,” Brady said Thursday afternoon.

Celtics’ Rondo to return Friday

Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo will make his season debut on Friday against the Los Angeles Lakers, team president of basketball operations Danny Ainge confirmed Thursday.

“Barring any setbacks, I think (Rondo is) planning on playing tomorrow,” Ainge said at the team’s practice facility.

Rondo has been out since Jan. 25, 2013, with a torn ACL in his right knee.

NBA suspends Lakers’ Young for one game

Los Angeles Lakers guard Nick Young has been suspended one game without pay for throwing a punch at Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic with 7:33 remaining in the second quarter of the Lakers’ 121-114 loss to the Suns on Wednesday night, the league announced Thursday.

Young will serve his suspension on Friday night when the Lakers visit the Boston Celtics.

The Lakers signed guard Manny Harris to a 10-day contract. Harris is leading the NBA Developmental League this season in scoring, averaging 30.6 points per game, with the Lakers’ Los Angeles D-Fenders affiliate. He also ranks sixth in the league in steals with 2.1 per game.

Price, Rays avoid arbitration

Lefthanded starter David Price and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration with a one-year, $14 million deal for the 2014 season.

Price, 28, is a three-time All-Star (2010-12) and in 2012 became the first pitcher in Rays history to win the American League Cy Young Award. In 2013, he went 10-8 with a 3.33 ERA in 27 starts despite missing 44 games with a left triceps strain. His 5.59 strikeout-to-walk ratio (151-27) led the AL and ranked fourth all-time among AL lefthanders.

Two minor leaguers suspended

Minor leaguers Antonio Alvarez and Daryl Thompson were suspended on Thursday for violations of baseball’s drug prevention and treatment program.

Alvarez, a shortstop in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ organization, received a 50-game suspension after a positive test for testosterone. Thompson, a free-agent pitcher, also was given a 50-game suspension without pay for a second violation of a drug of abuse.

Alvarez’s suspension takes effect at the start of the 2014 season. Thompson will begin serving his once he signs with a team.

Last season, Alvarez batted .222 with no home runs and nine RBIs in 35 games with the Missoula Osprey of the rookie Pioneer League. He is still on the Osprey’s roster.

Eagles’ Kelly named Maxwell Coach of the Year

Chip Kelly, on the one-year anniversary of being named head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, was named Pro Football Coach of the Year by the Maxwell Football Club on Thursday.

The Maxwell Club, whose president is Ron Jaworski, is Philadelphia-based

In his first year, Kelly oversaw a quarterback competition, won 10 games and the NFC East title and got his first taste of the NFL playoffs.

Kelly jokingly called his NFL debut only about “58.8 percent” successful. “That’s winning 10 games out of 17,” he said at his season-ending news conference.

Kelly inherited a team that had gone 4-12 in Andy Reid’s final season.

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