Return for Pelicans’ Williamson delayed
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson is expected to miss at least the first week of the regular season because his recovery from surgery to repair a right foot fracture is taking longer than anticipated.
“Nothing has gone wrong and there is no setback,” Pelicans basketball operations chief David Griffin said after practice Thursday, adding that Williamson will be re-evaluated in about two-and-a-half weeks. “It just takes a certain period of time” for bones to heal and “every player is different.”
Williamson, who averaged 27.0 points — eighth in the league — in 61 games last season, said at the start of training camp he planned to be ready to play in time for New Orleans’ regular season opener Wednesday against Philadelphia.
Williamson said he injured his foot during offseason training, adding that he may have been pushing himself too hard because of his desire to get his first taste of the NBA playoffs this season.
Former catcher Ray Fosse dead at 74
Ray Fosse, the strong-armed catcher whose career was upended when he was bowled over by Pete Rose at the 1970 All-Star Game, died Wednesday at 74 after a 16-year bout with cancer.
Mr. Fosse was a budding talent for Cleveland when he made his first All-Star team as a 23-year-old in 1970, the same year he hit .307 with a career-high 18 homers and won the first of two Gold Gloves while throwing out 55% of attempted base stealers.
Rose barreled over him to score the winning run in the 12th inning of the exhibition at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium. Mr. Fosse suffered a fractured and separated left shoulder. A first-round draft pick by Cleveland in 1965 from Marion, Ill., Mr. Fosse made his second and final All-Star team in 1971 but never replicated that terrific 1970 season over a 12-year career with Cleveland, Oakland, Seattle and Milwaukee.
He batted .256 with 61 homers in 924 games and helped the Athletics win the World Series in 1973 and ‘74.
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
68-team field close for NCAA tournament
The NCAA women’s basketball tournament is closing in ono expanding its field to 68 teams — equaling the men’s bracket.
The Division I women’s basketball committee and the oversight committee unanimously voted to approve a proposal to add four teams to the NCAA Tournament, starting this season. The proposal will now advance for consideration by governance committees. A final determination is expected by the middle of next month.
Under the proposed 68-team format for 2022, the opening-round games of the women’s tournament would take place at four of those top 16 seeds’ sites. It could change to a neutral site going forward starting in 2023— similar to what the men do.
Streb fires 61 to lead CJ Cup by one
Robert Streb went from making putts to wondering if he would ever miss in the CJ Cup in Las Vegas. It led to his best start to any tournament and his lowest score on the PGA Tour.
And on this day at The Summit Club, his 11-under 61 was only good for a one-shot lead.
A world-class field lit up a very pretty and mostly defenseless golf course overlooking the Las Vegas Strip. The result was the lowest average score — 68.95 — for the opening round on the PGA Tour all year.
Streb had 10 birdies and an eagle and led by one shot over Keith Mitchell, who had more birdies than pars in matching his low round with a 62. Harry Higgs was at 64, while the group at 65 included Sergio Garcia and Viktor Hovland.
Taurasi, Mercury even series
Diana Taurasi scored 8 of her 20 points in overtime as the Phoenix Mercury beat the Chicago Sky 91-86 in Phoenix on Wednesday night to even the WNBA Finals at one game apiece.
Taurasi, 39 and the league’s all-time leading scorer, opened overtime with a four-point play and added a 3-pointer that put Phoenix up 89-86 with 1:24 left. Taurasi then came up with a huge defensive play, getting a steal with 36 seconds left, and Skylar Diggins-Smith sealed it on a layup with 12.8 seconds left.
Brittney Griner led Phoenix with 29 points. Courtney Vandersloot had 20 points and 14 assists to lead the Fire. Game 3 is Friday in Chicago.
Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart
- underwent surgery for a minor repair and reinforcement of the Achilles tendon in her left leg. Stewart, who averaged 20.3 points and 9.5 rebounds this season, injured her left foot on Sept. 7 against Washington and did not play in the final two regular-season games or Seattle’s playoff game.
- and the Ottawa Senators agreed to a seven-year, $57.5 million contract. Tkachuk played in all 56 games last season and led the Senators in scoring with 36 points on 17 goals and 19 assists. The 6-foot-4, 211-pound left wing also had a team-high 69 penalty minutes and was second in the NHL in hits with 248.
- Colorado Avalanche forward
Gabriel Landeskog was
without pay by the NHL for boarding Chicago forward Kirby Dach
- in Wednesday’s season opener.
Cameron Norrie routed 11th-seeded Diego Schwartzman 6-0, 6-2 to reach the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., and extend the best season of his young career. Norrie needed just 73 minutes to dismantle Schwartzman and moved into a semifinal against 23rd-seeded Grigor Dimitrov, who beat No. 8 Hubert Hurkacz 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (2). On the women’s side, 12th-seeded Ons Jabeur advanced to the semifinals with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Anett Kontaveit
- The National Women’s Soccer League is moving its championship game from Portland, Ore., to Louisville, Ky., at the request of players. The Nov. 20 title match was originally scheduled to kick off at 9 a.m. local time in Portland to fit the CBS broadcast window. But players objected to the early-morning start. The start time in Louisville will be noon.
— The Associated Press