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mortensen to take leave from espn to treat throat cancer

BRISTOL, Conn. — ESPN's Chris Mortensen said Friday he is temporarily stepping away from his NFL coverage duties while receiving treatment for Stage IV throat cancer.

Mortensen, 64, who joined ESPN in 1991, said in a statement he was diagnosed more than a week ago and the diagnosis was confirmed Friday.

"There is another test remaining that will determine the best possible treatment plan that will commence in the very immediate future," he said.

ESPN President John Skipper said in a statement that the network looks "forward to his return whenever he chooses."

horses

Pharoah theme ahead of Eclipse Awards

HALLANDALE BEACH— Even though American Pharoah's racing career is over, a couple of more accolades almost certainly await. Last year's Triple Crown winner is the overwhelming favorite for horse of the year and 3-year-old male honors when the Eclipse Awards are handed out tonight at Gulfstream Park. American Pharoah became the first horse to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes since 1978. His career-ending convincing win in the Breeders' Cup Classic completed thoroughbred racing's Grand Slam. "I was privileged to train a horse like that," Bob Baffert, who trained American Pharoah, said. "He was a gift from God. That's what I would call him." Baffert is up for trainer of the year, which he won in 1997, 1998 and 1999. Owner-breeder Ahmed Zayat and jockey Victor Espinoza are Eclipse nominees as well, meaning American Pharoah and his connections could win six of the 17 primary awards that make up the program tonight.

et cetera

Soccer: Brazilian legend Pele, 75, is recovering well from a corrective hip surgery he had Dec. 3 in New York City, his spokesman said. Pele was discharged Dec. 7 and is undergoing physiotherapy sessions in New York, Jose Fornos Rodrigues said.

BROADCASTING: Major League Baseball fans are already the winners in a lawsuit scheduled for trial next week over how league broadcast rights are distributed. MLB lawyers have told a Manhattan federal court judge that fans can buy single-team TV packages if they don't live in their favorite team's market. The lawyers noted in court papers submitted last week that the desire for single-team packages seemed to be the driving force behind the 2012 class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of fans. The decision to enable single-team TV package purchases came after lawyers for the NHL last year settled their side of the court case. The NHL agreed to let fans buy single-team packages.

Times wires

Sports in brief 01/15/16 [Last modified: Friday, January 15, 2016 9:01pm]
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