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Carroll: WR pair ready for training camp

Seahawks’ receivers T.J. Houshmandzadeh, above, and Deion Branch are nearly recovered from offseason surgeries. (Associated Press)
Seahawks’ receivers T.J. Houshmandzadeh, above, and Deion Branch are nearly recovered from offseason surgeries. (Associated Press)

NFL: T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Deion Branch ran sprints up a grass hill and weaved through cones.

That final stage of recuperation – plus the words of Seahawks coach Pete Carroll – point to Seattle’s top veteran receivers being ready for the 2010 season.

“Certainly they’re going to be ready to go for (training) camp,” in late July, Carroll said this week at his latest organized team activity.

Houshmandzadeh says he is about 85 percent recovered from offseason hernia surgery. Seattle’s leading receiver with 79 receptions last season caught passes during drills that were open to the media on Tuesday.

He said he was playing through the hernia at the end of last season, his first with Seattle. He led the NFL in receptions over the previous three seasons while with Cincinnati, then signed a $40 million, five-year contract with the Seahawks last spring.

Branch is running routes again following his third knee surgery in two years, in late April.

Carroll had said Branch’s arthroscopic surgery almost two months ago in Philadelphia was a “very minor” cleanup.

No problems with Favre’s surgery: Brett Favre’s doctor indicated that his recent ankle surgery went well and the quarterback has a few more weeks of rehabilitation before he’ll decide if he’ll return for a 20th NFL season.

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews said there were no problems with last month’s arthroscopic procedure, which removed scar tissue and bone spurs from Favre’s left ankle.

“It went fine,” Andrews said after speaking at the Charlotte Touchdown Club luncheon. “He’s rehabbing and trying to decide what he’s going to do. I talked to him yesterday.”

The Vikings have said they will give Favre all the time he needs to make a decision about whether to return for another run at the Super Bowl.

Redskins want money back from Haynesworth: Albert Haynesworth didn’t show. Teammates called him selfish. Now the Washington Redskins want their money back.

The Redskins are going to see if they can recoup all or part of a $21 million bonus from the disgruntled two-time All Pro defensive tackle, an official within the league with knowledge of the deliberations told the Associated Press. The team decided to take the action after Haynesworth failed to report for a mandatory two-day minicamp.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because coach Mike Shanahan declined to make the team’s plans public.

NFL, union officials meet, discuss longer season: NFL and union officials discussed adding two games to the regular season when they met for their first negotiating session since February.

Teams would still play a total of 20 exhibition plus regular-season games under the proposal. The league would go from four in the preseason and 16 in the regular season to two and 18.

The current collective bargaining agreement expires in March, which could lead to a work stoppage during the 2011 season.

The earliest season with an expanded schedule would be 2012.

Federer snags top Wimbledon seed

Tennis: Roger Federer was the No. 1 seed for Wimbledon ahead of Rafael Nadal in a reverse of their world rankings.

Federer, the defending champion and six-time Wimbledon winner, received the top seed even though Nadal recently replaced him at No. 1.

There were no surprises in the women’s seedings, with Serena Williams at No. 1 and sister Venus at No. 2.

Wimbledon uses its discretion to seed players based on their grass-court record.

The draw will be held Friday, with the two-week Grand Slam tournament starting Monday.

The women’s seedings stuck to the rankings, setting up the possibility of a fifth all-Williams Wimbledon final. Serena beat Venus last year for her third Wimbledon title.

San Jose SaberCats will return in 2011

AFL: The San Jose SaberCats are back in the Arena Football League.

The successful team that disbanded when the AFL went on hiatus after the 2008 season will be returning next spring, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

The team’s ownership group will once again be led by electronics store retailer John Fry, and feature the same logo and uniform colors. The team will also continue playing home games at HP Pavilion.

Burghardt wins 5th stage at Switzerland

Cycling: Marcus Burghardt of Germany won the fifth stage of the Tour of Switzerland following a long breakaway.

Burghardt launched an attack over the final stretch of the 107-mile, rain-soaked stage from Wettingen to Frutigen to drop his two remaining breakaway companions.

Tony Martin of Germany retained the overall lead, 1 second ahead of Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland. Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong finished in the main pack and is 21st overall, 30 seconds back.


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Former Gonzaga forward Zach Collins makes impact as Trail Blazers rookie

UPDATED: 8:35 p.m.

Zach Collins’ rookie year with the Portland Trail Blazers was more like two seasons in one. The former Gonzaga Bulldog barely saw the floor in the first two months of the season. He averaged 3.8 minutes per November game. Collins carved out a spot in the rotation in December and his playing time soared into the 14-18 minute range.