Football: The Pittsburgh Steelers might not have to wonder any longer how much better they would be if they had star safety Troy Polamalu.
Polamalu is expected to practice on a limited basis today for the first time since tearing the medial collateral ligament in his left knee Sept. 10 against Tennessee – an injury that potentially could have sidelined him until midseason.
Polamalu, a five-time Pro Bowl player, will wear a brace on the knee. He must show the Steelers’ medical staff that he can stop and start and change directions before he plays again, but he has not been ruled out of Sunday’s game at Detroit.
•Crabtree meets with 49ers: Three top San Francisco 49ers executives met in person with unsigned wide receiver and top draft pick Michael Crabtree and his agent, Eugene Parker.
The 22-year-old Crabtree hasn’t accepted the 49ers’ long-standing offer for approximately five years and $20 million with a reported $16 million guaranteed – instead seeking money comparable to the higher picks.
•NFL watches probe of alleged coaches’ fight: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league is watching as authorities investigate allegations that Oakland Raiders coach Tom Cable assaulted one of his assistants.
Raiders defensive assistant Randy Hanson was hospitalized with a broken bone in his face following an Aug. 5 attack that he told police was initiated by a member of the Raiders coaching staff at the team’s training camp hotel in Napa, Calif.
Cable denied the allegations in August.
•Cowboys’ facility should have survived wind: The Dallas Cowboys’ practice facility collapsed last May in winds it should have been able to withstand, according to a draft report released by a federal agency that investigated the accident that injured a dozen people.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology said the steel and fabric building fell during a May 2 thunderstorm in the Dallas suburb of Irving during winds of 55 to 65 mph, far less than the 90 mph wind speed specified by engineering standards for that location.
Taurasi struggles to find shot in finals
Miscellany: Diana Taurasi hasn’t found her rhythm during the WNBA finals and the Phoenix Mercury are paying for it.
The Indiana Fever lead the series 2-1 and can win its first championship tonight in Game 4. Indiana’s odds of closing out the best-of-5 series increase if Taurasi, the league’s MVP, has another poor shooting performance.
Taurasi is averaging 20 points per game in the finals, but she’s making fewer than a third of her shots while being hounded by defensive player of the year Tamika Catchings.
Indiana held Taurasi to 6-for-16 shooting and won Game 3 86-85 on Sunday. Catchings doesn’t expect another off night from the league’s regular-season scoring champion.
Taurasi said Indiana’s bench of Briann January (Lewis and Clark High), Jessica Davenport and Jessica Moore has been the difference. She singled out January, a rookie point guard who is averaging 15 points in the series. January scored 10 points in a 1:16 stretch at the end of the third quarter of Game 3 that gave the Fever a boost.
•Flyers beat Capitals in OT: Danny Briere pounced on a loose puck and knocked in the rebound at 3:52 of overtime to keep the Philadelphia Flyers perfect and lift them to a 6-5 NHL home win over the Washington Capitals.
Mike Richards bested Alex Ovechkin with his second career hat trick to help the Flyers improve to 3-0 for the first time since the 1998-99 season. Ovechkin scored twice and has five goals already on the season.
•Wild climb back late, win in OT: Andrew Brunette’s power-play goal in overtime lifted the Wild to a 4-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks in St. Paul, Minn.
Trailing 3-0 with less than 14 minutes to play in the third, the Wild got goals from Mikko Koivu, Petr Sykora and Eric Belanger to send the game to overtime.
•MLB approves sale of Cubs: Major League Baseball owners unanimously approved the sale of the Chicago Cubs from the bankrupt Tribune Co. to the family of online brokerage billionaire and longtime fan Joe Ricketts.
The Rickettses, whose wealth comes from the family-owned, Omaha, Neb.-based TD Ameritrade Holding Corp., signed an agreement to buy a 95 percent stake in the team and in Wrigley Field, the second-oldest ball park in the majors.
•White Sox keep Garcia, Thornton: The Chicago White Sox have exercised club options for 2010 on right-hander Freddy Garcia and left-hander Matt Thornton.
Garcia will have a base salary of $1 million next season and Thornton $2.25 million.
•Iverson out with injured hamstring: Allen Iverson’s debut with the Memphis Grizzlies will have to wait.
The guard strained his left hamstring during a scrimmage on Sunday in Birmingham, Ala., and he was held out of the Grizzlies’ opening preseason game on Tuesday night against Washington.
Iverson is scheduled to have an MRI taken in Memphis, and he will miss tonight’s home game against Oklahoma City.
•Serena Williams regains No. 1 ranking: Serena Williams defeated Ekaterina Makarova of Russia 6-3, 6-2 in the second round of the China Open in Beijing and reclaimed her No. 1 ranking.
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