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Sports Log: Lakers’ Metta World Peace out six weeks with knee injury

NBA

Lakers’ World Peace will have surgery

The Los Angeles Lakers’ push for the playoffs just got a whole lot tougher. Forward Metta World Peace, the team’s best perimeter defender, is scheduled to have surgery on Thursday to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. He'll miss a minimum of six weeks, the team announced Wednesday. That means that even if the Lakers get into the playoffs — they’re in eighth place in the West, a game ahead of Utah and Dallas for the final spot — he'd be sidelined for at least the first round. Dwight Howard (back and shoulder), Pau Gasol (foot), Kobe Bryant (ankle, wrist), Steve Nash (knee), and Jordan Hill (hip) have all missed significant time . . . Tom Boerwinkle, the former Chicago Bulls center who had a franchise-record 37 rebounds in a 1970 game against the Phoenix Suns, has died. He was 67. Bulls spokesman Tim Hallam said a family member told team officials of his death, and the University of Tennessee issued a statement saying the former Volunteers player died Tuesday at his home near Chicago after a lengthy illness.

Colleges

UConn’s Auriemma signs for 10.86m

Connecticut women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma has signed a new $10.86 million contract, a deal designed to keep him at the school through the 2017-18 season. The 59-year-old Hall of Famer, who has coached at UConn since 1985, will make $1.95 million in salary, speaking fees, and media fees in the next year. The move comes about three months after the school signed its first-year men’s coach, Kevin Ollie, to a five-year deal worth just under $7 million . . . Boston College will offer its football fans more on-campus parking options as 2013 season football tickets go on sale through www.bceagles.com. Ticket prices are unchanged from 2012.

Hockey

Penguins place Letang back on IR

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Kris Letang’s comeback didn’t last long. The Pittsburgh Penguins have placed their star defenseman back on injured reserve with a lower-body injury and recalled rookie Simon Despres from the AHL. Letang returned from the IR on Tuesday night after missing three games because of the injury. He appeared in some discomfort following his first shift but played more than 24 minutes in a 1-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury also sustained an undisclosed injury Tuesday after colliding with a pair of players in the second period.

Boxing

Ex-champ Gomez in critical condition

Former Puerto Rican world champion Wilfredo Gomez is in critical condition in a San Juan hospital following respiratory failure, a family spokesman said. Erick Rodriguez said the 56-year-old Gomez, a three-time world champion with the WBA and WBC at super bantamweight, featherweight, and junior lightweight, is struggling to recover from a lung infection. ‘‘The next 72 hours are going to be crucial,’’ Rodriguez said. ‘‘He’s in danger of contracting pneumonia.’’

Tennis

Sharapova grinds past Errani in Sony

Maria Sharapova, a four-time runner-up, returned to the Sony Open semifinals despite a patchy performance, beating Sara Errani, 7-5, 7-5, in Key Biscayne, Fla. Seeded No. 3, she'll play Thursday against No. 22 Jelena Jankovic, who beat No. 15 Roberta Vinci, 6-4, 6-7 (6-8), 6-3. In the men’s quarterfinals, No. 3 David Ferrer rallied past unseeded Jurgen Melzer, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0. Ferrer’s opponent Friday will be Tommy Haas, who defeated No. 11 Gilles Simon, 6-3, 6-1.

Miscellany

Revolution loan four players to Rhinos

The New England Revolution have loaned four players to the Rochester Rhinos, the team’s USL PRO affiliate, for the 2013 season. Defender Bilal Duckett, forward Matt Horth, midfielder Gabe Latigue, and defender Tyler Polak will join the Rhinos this week ahead of the team’s season opener on April 13 at VSI Tampa Bay FC. The Revolution have the option to recall any of the players at any time . . . Shanghai Bobby will get a chance to avenge the only defeat of his career when he takes on Itsmyluckyday and eight others in the $1 million Florida Derby Saturday in Hallandale, Fla. The 2-year-old champion won all five of his races last year, including the Champagne and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. In his 3-year-old debut, he was beaten in the Holy Bull by Itsmyluckyday, who set a Gulfstream Park record for 1 1/16 miles in winning by two lengths . . . Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin have exchanged text messages since their final-lap crash at Fontana last weekend that left Hamlin with a fractured vertebra, said Logano team owner Roger Penske. Penske said he’s also sent text messages to Hamlin, who is expected to miss at least six weeks . . . Norwegian speedskater Hjalmar Andersen, who broke world records in the early 1950s and won three gold medals at the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo, died in Oslo. He was 90.

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