NFL The Patriots on Friday announced the re-signing of safety James Ihedigbo, who after a rash of injuries early last season came from deep on the depth chart to settle the secondary on the way to the Super Bowl. Terms were not disclosed. After not re-signing with the Jets, Ihedigbo, 28, started 12 of 16 games in the regular season, and all three in the postseason, while dealing with a chronic shoulder injury. He had surgery after the season and just now is near full health. Ihedigbo, a UMass graduate from Amherst High, enters a crowded battle at safety, where Patrick Chung, Steve Gregory, and second-round pick Tavon Wilson are assured of making the team. That leaves possibly two spots between Josh Barrett, Sergio Brown, sixth-round pick Nate Ebner, along with cornerbacks Will Allen and Devin McCourty, who can play both positions.
GREG A. BEDARD
Royals’ Paulino may require surgery
Baseball Royals pitcher Felipe Paulino has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, which usually requires reconstructive surgery. Paulino will get a second opinion from Angels medical director Lewis Yocum. Paulino had been Kansas City’s best starter, going 3-1 with a 1.67 ERA in seven starts. He had been on the DL since June 9 because of a strained groin, and the elbow injury was discovered after he pitched three innings in a rehab start Wednesday. Paulino could become the fourth Royals pitcher to require Tommy John surgery this season. The others are Danny Duffy, Joakim Soria and Blake Wood . . . The White Sox placed Philip Humber, who pitched a perfect game at Seattle April 21, on the 15-day disabled list because of a right elbow flexor strain . . . Indians closer Chris Perez said he believes there are pitchers on every team who use pine tar and other substances to manipulate the ball. Clarifying comments he made on a satellite radio show, Perez, a former Cardinal, said he wasn’t specifically calling out St. Louis. Instead he was saying that he’s only been with two teams and “more guys did it on the Cardinals than [Cleveland].’’ . . . Orioles left fielder Nolan Reimold will have surgery to remove a herniated disk in his neck Monday, a procedure that probably will end his season . . . Former major league outfielder Chad Curtis, 43, has been ordered to stand trial on charges he touched two female students at a Michigan high school where he was a volunteer strength trainer in the school’s weight room. Curtis is to be tried on five counts of criminal sexual conduct. Curtis maintains his innocence . . . Veteran righthander Livan Hernandez signed a one-year contract with the Brewers . . . Tyler Webb and Matt Price combined for seven innings of shutout relief, and two-time defending national champion South Carolina returned to the College World Series finals with a 3-2 win over Arkansas at Omaha. South Carolina will play Arizona in the best-of-three finals beginning Sunday. The Gamecocks are trying to become the first team to win three titles in a row since Southern California won five straight from 1970-74.
Armstrong responds to doping charges
Lance Armstrong fired a scathing response to the latest doping allegations against him, accusing the US Anti-Doping Agency of violating its own rules and possibly breaking federal law during its investigation. Friday was the deadline for the seven-time Tour de France winner to respond to USADA’s warning of pending charges. The agency says Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs and other improper methods to win cycling’s premier event from 1999-2005. Armstrong denies doping. Armstrong’s lawyers called the USADA claims “short on evidence.’’ The case now goes to a USADA review board . . . Knicks guard JeremyLin, teammate Steve Novak, the Clippers’ Chauncey Billups, and Portland’s J.J. Hickson will maintain valuable rights in free agency after an arbitrator’s ruling. The National Basketball Players Association said arbitrator Kenneth Dam affirmed its position that players claimed off waivers can use their “Bird’’ and “Early Bird’’ rights. The union argued the players should be covered by the exceptions that allow clubs to exceed their salary caps to re-sign their own players. All four players were waived this season and claimed by other teams. They are due to become free agents July 1 . . . Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade will have his ailing left knee examined and may need surgery, jeopardizing his chances of playing in the London Olympics . . . Tanisha Wright scored a season-high 20 points and the Storm used a 15-0 run midway through the game to beat the San Antonio Silver Stars, 82-76, at Seattle for their third consecutive win . . . Kim Clijsters withdrew from the Unicef Open before the semifinals because of a stomach muscle strain . . . Gray Maynard defeated Clay Guida by split decision to win a lackluster lightweight bout in the main event of the UFC card at Atlantic City . . . Sports car racer Mark Pombo was hospitalized in Milwaukee with a concussion, broken clavicle, and broken nose after crashing at Road America Friday in Elkhart Lake, Wis.