NBA MVP KEVIN DURANT HAS FOOT FRACTURE: OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Kevin Durant, the NBA’s leading scorer of this decade and the reigning MVP, will likely miss the first six to eight weeks of the season after fracturing a bone in his right foot.
The Oklahoma City star forward complained of an ache in his foot after practice Saturday, the team said. Tests showed he has a “Jones fracture,” a broken bone at the base of his small toe. Thunder general manager Sam Presti said Sunday that surgery is likely, and that similar injuries have forced players to miss six to eight weeks.
The Thunder open the season Oct. 29 at Portland. A six-week absence could have Durant back for the start of December, with about 65 games remaining.
“We’re really fortunate to be catching it when we’re catching it,” Presti said. “Very fortunate that Kevin notified us yesterday, and we’re catching it kind of on the front end, before this became a little bit more of an acute issue.”
The Thunder have a couple of high-profile matchups in December, playing LeBron James and the Cavaliers on Dec. 11 and going to San Antonio for a Western Conference finals rematch on Christmas.
Durant won the scoring title last season, collected his first MVP award and led the Thunder to the Western Conference finals. He skipped playing for the U.S. national team in this summer’s World Cup so he could get additional rest. He played in two preseason games before complaining of pain.
NAVAJO PRESIDENT ATTENDS GAME WITH REDSKINS OWNER: GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The president of the country’s largest American Indian reservation appears to be a supporter of the Washington Redskins.
Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly, wearing a Redskins cap, was seated next to Redskins owner Dan Snyder as the team played the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday in Glendale.
The president’s spokesman, Deswood Tome, says Shelly was there to discuss an NFL franchising agreement involving Navajo artists.
Tome says Shelly believes challenges for the Navajo, such as education and job creation, take “far more precedence more than a mascot name.”
Shelly’s presence coincides with a rally by nearly 100 demonstrators outside University of Phoenix Stadium earlier in the day.
Some Native American leaders say the name is a racial slur.
BELGIUM’S JELLE WALLAYS WINS PARIS-TOURS CLASSIC: TOURS, France (AP) — Jelle Wallays of Belgium outsprinted Thomas Voeckler to win the Paris-Tours classic on Sunday.
Voeckler made his move 200 meters from the finish line, but Wallays easily overtook the French veteran.
Seven riders, including Voeckler and Wallays, escaped in the opening kilometers to build a lead that reached 6 minutes, 40 seconds.
Jens Debusschere of Belgium won a mass sprint to take third place, 12 seconds off the pace.
“Beating Voeckler makes this win even nicer,” Wallays said. “My fitness has been very good in the last five weeks.”
The 237.5-kilometer (147.6-mile) trek from Bonneval to Tours was marred by crashes because of a wet road.
Defending champion John Degenkolb — tipped as a strong favorite after winning the Paris-Bourges race on Thursday — led a chasing group in the final kilometers in an attempt to reel Wallays and Voeckler in, but the other riders seemed to fear the German’s speed and refused to collaborate.
Voeckler attacked in the penultimate climb, Cote de Beau Soleil, to shake off his fellow escapees. Only Wallays, who won the Omloop van het Houtland last month in Belgium, was able to keep pace with the Frenchman.
Voeckler was chasing his first victory of the season. He underwent surgery in August to repair a broken collarbone after colliding with a car.
FARRAR WINS 3RD STAGE OF TOUR OF BEIJING: BEIJING (AP) — Tyler Farrar of the United States got his long-awaited win at the 176-kilometer (109-mile) third stage of the Tour of Beijing on Sunday.
Farrar says it has been “a year of seconds and thirds and fourths so to finally win ... I’m really happy.”
The American, who finished third in the first stage, rode through cold and headwind for the last 90 kilometers (56 miles), clocking 4 hours, 15 minutes, 46 seconds.
OSCAR PISTORIUS FACES SENTENCING THIS WEEK : JOHANNESBURG (AP) — What kind of sentence will Oscar Pistorius get for killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp?
South African judge Thokozile Masipa has wide latitude in deciding the sentence after several days of legal arguments and testimony that begin Monday. Last month she convicted the double-amputee runner of culpable homicide, or negligent killing. Sentences for such a crime can range from a suspended sentence and a fine to as many as 15 years in prison.
Pistorius, once a celebrated athlete who ran in the 2012 Olympics, was charged with premeditated murder in a televised trial that transfixed many people around the world, but Masipa found him not guilty of that charge. She drew criticism from some South Africans who thought Pistorius could at least have been convicted of a lesser murder charge on the grounds that he knew a person could die when he fired four bullets through a toilet door in his home early on Valentine’s Day last year.
Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, died in the hail of bullets, and prosecutors said Pistorius had opened fire in anger after the couple argued. The runner testified that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder who was about to come out of the toilet and attack him.