COACH SEEKS QUICK RETURN FROM CHEMO
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Sylvia Hatchell is fighting to get back to her North Carolina women's basketball program as quickly as possible.
The recently inducted Naismith Hall of Fame coach has been away from sideline duties since October while receiving treatment for leukemia. She spent a month in the hospital for the first round of chemotherapy with more ahead as she holds out hope of getting back by conference tournament time.
"You don't realize, especially after all this time, how much something means to you until you don't have it," Hatchell told the Associated Press.
"It was like a tsunami hit me and all of a sudden it's taken away. But that's my motivation, to get back out there."
Hatchell, 61, said she feels great and even attended Saturday's win against High Point.
Swansea star needs surgery on ankle
Swansea said Michu is likely to be sidelined for six weeks, with the forward requiring surgery on his right ankle. The Spaniard, 27, who has scored 28 goals since joining from Rayo Vallecano in 2012, has been hindered by ankle and knee problems this season. Manager Michael Laudrup said the operation is set to be carried out in the next week and Michu should be back playing in "around a month and a half."
DEMPSEY TO FULHAM: U.S. team captain Clint Dempsey's return to Fulham on a two-month loan from the Seattle Sounders was made official after he passed a medical test with the Cottagers last week.
Japan star appears headed to U.S.
The Japanese team of coveted RHP Masahiro Tanaka has decided to post him, making him available to major-league teams, the Los Angeles Times reported. Under new MLB rules, any team can post up to $20 million for the right to negotiate with Tanaka, 25, who went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA this season with the Rakuten Golden Eagles. The team that signs him would then pay Rakuten the posting fee.
DODGERS: The team announced deals with three relievers: former Rays LHP J.P. Howell and RHPs Chris Perez and Jamey Wright, who spent last season with the Rays.
Bruins' Thornton to serve suspension
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman upheld the 15-game suspension of Bruins F Shawn Thornton. Thornton appealed last week after he was banned for punching and injuring the Penguins' Brooks Orpik on Dec. 7. Orpik was knocked unconscious and suffered a concussion.
ARENA LEAGUE: The Orlando Predators named Rob Keefe as its coach. Keefe has coached in the Arena Football League for five seasons, most recently as defensive coordinator for the Utah Blaze.
TENNIS: Roger Federer said on Twitter that he and his wife, Mirka, are expecting another child next year. Twins Charlene and Myla were born in July 2009. Federer wrote that "Mirka and I are very happy to share the news" that the couple's daughters "will be big sisters in 2014!"