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National Sports Briefs

Associated Press
Tiger Woods was injured early Friday when he lost control of his SUV outside his Florida mansion, and a local police chief said Woods’ wife used a golf club to smash out the back window to help get him out.
The world’s No. 1 golfer was treated and released from a hospital in good condition, his spokesman said. The Florida Highway Patrol said Woods’ vehicle hit a fire hydrant and a tree in his neighbor’s yard after he pulled out of his driveway at 2:25 a.m.
Windermere police chief Daniel Saylor told The Associated Press that officers found the 33-year-old PGA star laying in the street with his wife, Elin, hovering over him.
She told officers she was in the house when she heard the accident and “came out and broke the back window with a golf club,” he said. “She supposedly got him out and laid him on the ground. He was in and out of consciousness when my guys got there.”
He said Woods had lacerations to his upper and lower lips, and blood in his mouth; officers treated Woods for 10 minutes until an ambulance arrived.
IVERSON UPDATE
CHARLOTTE ó Larry Brown has a message for Allen Iverson: don’t give up.
Iverson’s former coach said Friday he thinks the 10-time All-Star “still has a passion to play” and shouldn’t retire. An online report this week indicated Iverson had decided to end his career after receiving little interest from NBA teams.
Brown, who coached Iverson in Philadelphia when he was voted league MVP in 2001 while leading the 76ers to the NBA finals, said he’s been trying to get in touch with him.
“Anybody that knows him understands how much he loves to play,” said Brown, now coaching the Charlotte Bobcats.
Brown believes Iverson is “a little embarrassed” and the retirement talk may come from frustration.
“Think about it: You’re an MVP in the All-Star game and an MVP in the league, scored over 20,000 points,” Brown said. “You still know you can play.”
Brown says Iverson could get opportunities later in the season.
NFL
CHARLOTTE ó Carolina Panthers starting strongside linebacker Na’il Diggs has returned to practice and is questionable for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.
– EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. ó The New York Giants have reached a crossroads in their season after losing five of six games.
Following a 26-6 loss at Denver, the Giants are 6-5, with three NFC East opponents up next on the schedule, two at home. But with New York having lost to nearly every winning team it has faced this season, a turnaround might not be within reach.
The Cowboys and Eagles come to Giants Stadium, then New York is at Washington. A sweep of those games would make the Giants contenders again.
– ALLEN PARK, Mich.ó Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz isn’t second-guessing his decision to start Matthew Stafford.
“No second thoughts at all,” Schwartz said Friday, a day after his rookie quarterback threw four interceptions in a 34-12 loss to Green Bay. “Him throwing the interceptions had nothing to do with his shoulder.”
Stafford separated his left, non-throwing shoulder at the end of a Nov. 22 game against Cleveland, but after a penalty returned to throw a touchdown pass with no time on the clock to secure a 38-37 win.
– INDIANAPOLIS ó Peyton Manning has returned to full practice from an injury to his backside and is probable for Sunday’s AFC South game at Houston.
BASEBALLNEW YORK ó Roberto Alomar is among 15 first-time candidates of this year’s Hall of Fame ballot, joining holdovers Mark McGwire, Andre Dawson and Bert Blyleven.
Edgar Martinez, Barry Larkin and Fred McGriff also are new to the ballot this year. There are 26 candidates, three more than last year when Rickey Henderson was elected in his initial appearance and Jim Rice made it on his 15th and final try. Dawon fell 44 votes shy of the 75 percent needed and Blyleven was 67 short.
Also on the ballot for the first time are Kevin Appier, Ellis Burks, Andres Galarraga, Pat Hentgen, Mike Jackson, Eric Karros, Ray Lankford, Shane Reynolds, David Segui, Robin Ventura and Todd Zeile.
TENNIS
LONDON ó Novak Djokovic kept alive his chances of reaching the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals, beating Rafael Nadal 7-6 (5), 6-3 Friday for the Spaniard’s third straight loss.
Roger Federer, Juan Martin del Potro and Robin Soderling have clinched spots in the final four of the season-ending tournament.
TRACKLONDON ó Tim Montgomery says he started taking performance-enhancing drugs because he wanted to beat American sprint rival Maurice Greene and become the fastest man in the world.
The former 100-meter world-record holder, who also said he and former partner Marion Jones stored their steroids in the refrigerator “next to the vegetables,” spoke to The Times newspaper from a federal prison in Alabama.

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