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Petra Kvitova could return to tennis in 6 months

Aaron Favila/AP

Petra Kvitova underwent four hour of surgery on her left hand Wednesday for injuries suffered during a knife attack the previous day.

Petra Kvitova could return to tennis in about six months, the surgeon who operated on the two-time Wimbledon champion’s left hand said Wednesday. Kvitova was injured Tuesday when a knife-wielding intruder attacked her at her home in the Czech town of Prostejov. The attacker is still at large and police have asked the public for help. Kvitova underwent nearly four hours of surgery on Tuesday at a specialized clinic in the northern town of Vysoke nad Jizerou. ‘‘When we talk about [playing tennis], it will take about six months,’’ said surgeon Radek Kebrle of the Hand and Plastic Surgery Institute. ‘‘It’s a serious injury and we have to deal with that accordingly.” Earlier Wednesday, Kvitova’s spokesman, Karel Tejkal, said the surgery was successful. Kvitova sustained damage to the tendons in her left hand, along with injuries to all five fingers and two nerves.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

NCAA fines, penalizes Baylor

The NCAA fined and penalized Baylor after an investigation determined assistant football coaches committed recruiting and other violations. The NCAA said that a $5,000 fine will be imposed and that penalties against the football program included banning two assistants from off-campus recruiting for a 12-week period. Baylor says the infractions occurred in spring 2015 and that the NCAA adopted the university's self-imposed penalties . . . Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said that Joe Mixon would be off the team if he had punched a woman now instead of 2½ years ago, when he suspended the star running back for a year in a move that has drawn sharp criticism. Mixon was suspended after punching Oklahoma student Amelia Molitor in 2014. Mixon returned last year and helped the Sooners reach the College Football Playoff, and he has been a standout again this year for No. 7 Oklahoma. In reversing course, Stoops said he believed that the then-18-year-old Mixon could redeem himself. He said times have changed, and society now has a no-tolerance policy on domestic violence incidents. He said that’s a good thing.

Saban doesn’t blame players

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Alabama coach Nick Saban believes it’s hard to blame players for skipping bowl games when the playoffs have overshadowed most of them anyway. Saban reiterated concerns that he has voiced before that switching to the playoff format would diminish the importance of other bowl games, and he says that has happened. LSU tailback Leonard Fournette and Stanford tailback Christian McCaffrey have announced they won’t play in their teams’ bowls to focus on preparing for the NFL Draft. ‘‘Everybody’s interested in the playoff,’’ Saban said. ‘‘Nobody’s interested in anything else. So now that that’s trickled down to the players, how can you blame the players for that? I can’t blame the players for that.” . . . Oregon star running back Royce Freeman says he'll return to the Ducks for his senior year . . . Notre Dame hired Mike Elko as its defensive coordinator, hoping he can turn around a unit that was blamed in part for a down year for the Fighting Irish . . . Ohio State hired veteran NFL assistant Bill Davis as an assistant coach to replace Luke Fickell, who is the new head coach at Cincinnati.

. . . Texas A&M suspended junior wide receiver Speedy Noil after he was charged with misdemeanor drug possession.

Noil surrendered to College Station police, posted a $2,000 bond Tuesday, and was released. He is charged with possession of less than two ounces of marijuana. Texas A&M plays Kansas State Dec. 28 at the Texas Bowl in Houston.

NHL

Cunningham heading home

Arizona Coyotes minor leaguer Craig Cunningham could be released from the hospital this week, more than a month after collapsing on the ice before a Tucson Roadrunners game. The former Bruins forward, his mother, and doctors at Banner-University Medical Center Tucson met with reporters, his first public appearance since suffering cardiac arrest before a game on Nov. 19. Cunningham, 26, required more than 85 minutes of CPR after collapsing on the ice and doctors said he was lucky to have made it . . . The Red Wings put goaltender Jimmy Howard on seven-day injured reserve. Howard left Tuesday’s game against Tampa Bay unable to put weight on his right leg . . . The Islanders signed forward Stephen Gionta to a one-year, two-way contract and recalled him from AHL Bridgeport. The former BC star has played in 270 career games, all with New Jersey.

MISCELLANY

Revolution set home opener

The New England Revolution will open their 2017 MLS home schedule the earliest in franchise history, hosting Orlando City SC on March 11 at Gillette Stadium. The home opener comes one week after the Revs’ first game of the season at Colorado . . . A Michigan doctor who worked for USA Gymnastics will remain jailed in Grand Rapids on child pornography charges after an FBI agent said at least 37,000 images and videos were discovered. FBI agent Rod Charles testified Wednesday about the evidence at Nassar’s home in Holt. Nassar was indicted last week. Separately, Nassar is charged with sexually assaulting a girl at his home between 1998 and 2005 . . . Two Swedish freestyle World Cup skiers were injured after crashing on the same Italian hill in a three-day span. Anna Holmlund was seriously injured after crashing during training on Monday and is in a medically induced coma. Sandra Naslund was injured during a race on Wednesday and was also taken to the hospital. Naslund’s injuries are less serious. She had X-rays on her elbow.

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Holmlund, 29, lost consciousness after hitting her head during the crash and was flown by helicopter to Bolzano, where she underwent brain surgery that night. Jakob Swanberg, the Swedish ski cross federation doctor, said late Tuesday that brain test results are ‘‘unfortunately disappointing.’’ Holmlund is a three-time ski cross World Cup champion and won a bronze medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. She is currently second in the ski cross standings, with Naslund third.