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National Sports Briefs: Injured Crosby to miss all-star game

Associated Press
MONTREAL ó Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby will miss the All-Star game because of a left knee injury.
Tampa Bay scoring leader Martin St. Louis replaced Crosby on Thursday on the Eastern Conference roster. The game is Sunday at the Bell Centre.
Crosby, second in the NHL scoring race with 60 points on 17 goals and 43 assists in 47 games, missed a game Friday night because of the knee injury, and was struck twice on the left arm by pucks during a 2-1 loss to Carolina on Tuesday night.
He played in the Penguins’ final two games before the break, then was examined by doctors on Wednesday and Thursday.
With the Penguins out of playoff position in the Eastern Conference, they don’t want to take a chance the injury might worsen if Crosby plays in a game that doesn’t count in the standings.
Crosby received a record 1.7 million votes in fan balloting. A high ankle sprain kept him out of last year’s All-Star game.
St. Louis will be making his fifth straight All-Star game appearance. He has 17 goals and 29 assists this season.
TENNIS
MELBOURNE, Australia ó Baffled by her lack of control, unable to assert herself, Venus Williams went tumbling out of the Australian Open.
She lost 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 Thursday in the second round to Carla Suarez Navarro, a 20-year-old Spaniard ranked No. 46 who made the most of a strong forehand in a go-for-broke game.
Among the men, top-ranked Rafael Nadal ousted Roko Karanusic of Croatia 6-2, 6-3, 6-2, and fourth-seeded Andy Murray, his potential semifinal rival, beat 51st-ranked Marcel Granollers of Spain 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 to finish the second round.
Nadal had a tour-best 46-10 record on hard courts last year, including a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics gold medal. He says he’s growing more confident about winning his first Grand Slam title on the surface.
Today, second-seeded Roger Federer’s quest to equal Pete Sampras’ 14 Grand Slam singles titles could face an obstacle when he plays Marat Safin in the third round. Safin beat Federer in five sets in the 2005 semifinals en route to the Australian title.
OBIT
CLEVELAND ó Hall of Famer Dante “Gluefingers” Lavelli, a sure-handed receiver who helped the Cleveland Browns build a dynasty in the 1940s and 50s, has died. He was 85.
Best known for his great hands, Lavelli was part of four championship teams when the Browns dominated the All-America Football Conference in the 1940s.
GOLF
LA QUINTA, Calif. ó Pat Perez shot a 9-under 63 on Thursday to become the first player in PGA Tour history to play a 36-hole stretch in a tournament in 20 under, keeping him two strokes in front in the Bob Hope Classic.
– ORLANDO ó Ryo Ishikawa, a 17-year-old sensation who already has risen to No. 60 in the world, has accepted a sponsor’s exemption to play in the Arnold Palmer Invitational on March 23-26 at Bay Hill Club.
YOW UPDATE
RALEIGH ó North Carolina State women’s coach Kay Yow is continuing her breast cancer treatments in a hospital.
Yow, 66, announced earlier this month that she would not return to the team this season as she continues her fight against a disease she was first diagnosed with in 1987.
OLYMPICS
LONDON ó The British government released $634 million in public funds to bail out two key venues for the 2012 London Olympics due to the global economic downturn.
The government dipped into the Olympic contingency fund to allocate an extra $448 million for construction of the athletes’ village and $186 million for the international media center.

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