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National Sports Briefs

Associated Press
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. ó Lakers fans can rest easy. Kobe Bryant’s right knee was a bit sore Wednesday, but the injury isn’t serious and it’s possible he won’t miss any playing time.
“I’m all right, a little bit better today, a better mood, anyway,” Bryant said after sitting out practice due to the hyperextended right knee he suffered Tuesday night in the second quarter of the Lakers’ 102-98 preseason victory over the Charlotte Bobcats in San Diego.
Wearing an ice bag on his knee, Bryant said he felt a lot better about his injury Wednesday morning.
“There was no swelling,” he said. “At that point, I knew I was OK. Some injuries can go either way. You’ve got to get lucky. I didn’t sleep much, to be honest with you. Just moving it around, seeing if it was all right. These type of injuries kind of sneak up on you.”
NFL
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. ó Rodney Harrison’s career is almost certainly over after the hard-hitting but injury-plagued safety of the New England Patriots tore his right thigh muscle.
Greg Bensel said Tuesday in an e-mail to The Associated Press. He gave no other details.
HORSE RACING
ARCADIA, Calif. ó Curlin was made the early 7-5 favorite in a field of 12 for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Saturday.
Curlin would likely earn Horse of the Year honors for the second consecutive year if he defends his title at Santa Anita in his first race on a synthetic track.
Without retired Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown in the field, Raven’s Pass, winner of the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes in his last start, was made the 6-1 second choice.
NHL NOTES
ST. LOUIS ó Vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin will drop the ceremonial first puck Friday night before the St. Louis Blues’ game against the Los Angeles Kings.
The Alaska governor and self-described “hockey mom” also dropped the first puck Oct. 11 before Philadelphia’s home opener against the New York Rangers.
– CHICAGO ó Chicago season-ticket holders will get the first shot at tickets for Blackhawks’ New Year’s Day game against Detroit at 41,160-seat Wrigley Field.
“The game is going to be sold out,” commissioner Gary Bettman said Wednesday night.
The game will be the first NHL contest in a major league baseball stadium. The previous two Winter Classics were played in football stadiums in Edmonton and Buffalo.
PREP DEATH
GREENVILLEó Pitt County’s schools superintendent said a high school football player who died after collapsing during a game last month suffered a head injury two days earlier and should not have played without a doctor’s consent.
J.H. Rose High School junior running back Jaquan Waller died a day after the Sept. 19 game.
The State Medical Examiner said the 16-year-old Waller died from symptoms related to “second impact syndrome.”
STEROIDS
SAN FRANCISCO ó A federal judge sentenced disgraced track coach Trevor Graham to a year of home confinement Tuesday for lying to federal investigators.

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