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Armstrong gets plate in collarbone Aztecs advance in NIT

March 26, 2009|Diane Pucin | ; Staff And Wire Reports

Lance Armstrong needed a five-inch plate and 12 screws inserted into his right collarbone Wednesday in a four-hour operation, according to his surgeon, Douglas Elenz.

Armstrong's collarbone was broken into four pieces instead of two as originally thought, according to Elenz, and the surgery took nearly twice as long as expected. Elenz said he wanted Armstrong to do "absolutely nothing" for 72 hours and preferred the cyclist do nothing for a week.

While Elenz estimated full recovery could take from eight to 12 weeks, he said healing could go quicker.

Armstrong had said Tuesday before the surgery he still held out hope of riding the Giro d'Italia which begins May 9. That and the Tour de France, which starts July 4, were the two main races the 37-year-old seven-time Tour de France winner was targeting in his comeback from a 3 1/2 -year retirement.

Armstrong broke his collarbone Monday during a massive crash at the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon in Spain, a race his Astana teammate Levi Leipheimer is leading.

Elenz said Armstrong would be released Wednesday afternoon and not spend the night at the hospital.

-- Diane Pucin

TENNIS

Hewitt gets first-round win

Former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt survived a challenge from Israeli Dudi Sela to secure a 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 first-round win in the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Fla. The No. 92-ranked Hewitt, playing because of a tournament wild card, will hope to end an 11-match losing streak against top 10 opponents when he faces No. 7 Gilles Simon in the second round.

Serena Williams and the other seeded players received first-round byes in the Sony Ericsson Open and will play beginning today. Those advancing on the opening day of the 12-day event included Marcos Baghdatis and Americans Kevin Kim and Robert Kendrick in men's play. CoCo Vandeweghe and Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States were eliminated from the women's draw.

ETC.

Senate panel looks at BCS

Everyone from President Obama on down to fans has criticized how college football determines its top team. Now senators are getting off the sidelines to examine antitrust issues involving the Bowl Champion Series. The current system "leaves nearly half of all the teams in college football at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to qualifying for the millions of dollars paid out every year," the Senate Judiciary's subcommittee on antitrust, competition policy and consumer rights said in a statement Wednesday announcing the hearings.

Behind the push for the hearings is the subcommittee's top Republican, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah. People there were furious that Utah was bypassed for the national championship despite going undefeated in the regular season.

American League Championship Series star David Price was optioned by the Tampa Bay Rays to triple-A Durham. Price, the No. 1 pick in the 2007 draft, was called up last season and earned his first big league win and save -- in Game 7 -- in the ALCS.

The Sparks have re-signed guard Marta Fernandez, bringing the Spanish player back after a one-year absence. Fernandez averaged 8.7 points, 3.0 assists and 2.1 rebounds while starting 20 of 34 games in her first stint with the Sparks in 2007.

PASSINGS

Former boxer Parisi, 41

Giovanni Parisi, 41, a former Olympic and world champion boxer who won the featherweight gold medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, died in a car accident in northern Italy. Parisi died when the car he was driving collided head on with a van on a highway outside the town of Voghera, where he lived, police said. The cause of the accident was under investigation.

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