Doctor: Colts coach Pagano’s leukemia in remission
INDIANAPOLIS — Colts head coach Chuck Pagano is winning his battle with leukemia.
On Monday, Dr. Larry Cripe, Pagano’s physician, told The Associated Press that the illness which has sidelined Indy’s head coach for more than a month was in “complete remission.” Cripe said a morning exam showed Pagano’s white blood cell count and bone marrow tests were normal as he prepares to start a second round of chemotherapy.
The doctor explained patients typically undergo three rounds of treatment to wipe out any potentially lingering cancer cells. The second round of chemo is scheduled to start later this week and will last four to six weeks, Cripe said.
NHL, union to return to bargaining table today
NEW YORK — The NHL and the players’ association stuck to their word and made quick plans to get back to the bargaining table.
After all-day negotiations Saturday, the sides agreed Monday to resume talks today in New York. Both sides said the discussions over the weekend were good, creating some optimism that perhaps a deal could soon be reached to save the already truncated hockey season.
The NHL and union hadn’t met since Oct. 18 when each side turned down offers. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and players’ association special counsel Steve Fehr got together by themselves Saturday in an undisclosed location and held productive talks.
“We had a series of meetings over the course of the day and had a good, frank discussion on the most important issues separating us,” Daly said Sunday.
He and Fehr talked on the phone several times during the week and reached enough common ground to make face-to-face meetings possible.
K-State coach Snyder hopes Klein plays vs. TCU
MANHATTAN, Kan. — Kansas State coach Bill Snyder is hopeful injured quarterback Collin Klein will be available for next Saturday’s game at TCU.
The Heisman Trophy candidate was hurt during the third quarter of the No. 3 Wildcats’ 44-30 victory over Oklahoma State on Saturday. Snyder did not discuss the nature or severity of the injury, but all indications point toward a possible concussion.
Klein lay on the turf for several seconds after scoring his 50th career rushing touchdown. He spent several minutes talking with trainers before his helmet was taken away, which usually signals that a player has sustained some type of head injury.
When asked about Klein on Monday, Snyder replied: “Seems fine to me.” And when asked whether he’ll play against the Horned Frogs, Snyder said: “Hope so.”
Chiefs’ Crennel removes himself as D-coordinator
KANSAS CITY, Mo. —The Chiefs made another round of sweeping changes Monday in an attempt to lift themselves out of a season-long funk.
Coach Romeo Crennel sacked himself as defensive coordinator, and plans to spend more time with the team’s inept offense, while cornerback Stanford Routt was waived and defensive tackle Shaun Smith was signed.
Crennel had been juggling head coaching and coordinator duties since taking over on an interim basis when Todd Haley was fired last December. Gary Gibbs will take over as defensive coordinator.
The Chiefs fell to 1-7 with Thursday night’s 31-13 loss at San Diego, their fifth consecutive defeat. They still have yet to lead a game in regulation this season.
They play Monday night at Pittsburgh.
Murray wins opening match at ATP finals
LONDON — Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray won their opening matches Monday at the ATP finals, setting up a showdown between two of the top three players in the world.
The top-ranked Djokovic beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (4), 6-3 in Group A, hours after third-ranked Murray rallied to defeat Tomas Berdych 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. Djokovic and Murray will play Wednesday.
The ATP finals is the season-ending tournament for the top eight players in the world. Fourth-ranked Rafael Nadal, however, pulled out because of injury.
Group B, which includes six-time champion Roger Federer, will play Tuesday at the O2 Arena.
Payton could be a coaching free agent in 2013
NEW ORLEANS — Dismissing speculation that he might be interested in Sean Payton, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he has “a lot of faith” in coach Jason Garrett and has no idea if the suspended New Orleans Saints coach might be available next season.
Payton was suspended for the season by the NFL for his role in the bounty scandal. The league has taken issue with a clause in the contract extension he agreed to more than a year ago, which was to have kept him in New Orleans through 2015.
Saints spokesman Greg Bensel said Monday the team had no comment. Payton’s agent, Don Yee, did not return a message.
“I have no idea,” Jones said about Payton’s availability. “I have no understanding about anything to do with his or the Saints’ business or their contracts. I don’t have any — that was news to me.”
By wire sources