The Los Angeles Lakers announced Thursday that star Kobe Bryant left the country Wednesday night to have an undisclosed medical procedure.
It is not related to his torn left Achilles' tendon from which he is still recovering. He is expected to be back with the team early next week.
Bryant sustained the injury in April. There is no timetable on when he could return to the court. He believed during the summer that he would be back in time for the start of the season. However, that is in doubt.
---When the NBA announced its top-selling jerseys worldwide for last season, the player occupying the No. 1 was no surprise: Miami Heat star LeBron James.
The No. 2 spot was a surprise, though. Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose trailed only James despite sitting out the entire 2012-13 season with a knee injury.
Rounding out the top 10, according to sales figures from Adidas, were Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, Heat guard Dwyane Wade, New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, then-Lakers center Dwight Howard, Brooklyn Nets guard Deron Williams, Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin and Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo.
Forward Jason Pominville signed a five-year contract extension with the Minnesota Wild that begins in 2014.
Pominville played in 10 regular-season games with Minnesota last season as a trade-deadline acquisition from the Buffalo Sabres. Pominville makes $5.3 million in 2013 and will earn $28 million during the five-year extension.
---The NHL announced Thursday that it fined Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy $10,000 for his actions at the end of Wednesday's game against the Anaheim Ducks.
Roy, also the team's vice president of hockey operations, showed the same fiery passion behind the bench as he did during a Hall of Fame career as a goaltender. He took issue with what he thought was a late hit by the Ducks' Ben Lovejoy on Avalanche rookie Nathan MacKinnon, the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft.
Roy yelled at the Ducks players and nearly pushed down the glass partition between the teams' benches while screaming at Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau.
"Roy's actions at the conclusion of the game were irresponsible,"
Colin Campbell, the league's senior executive vice president of hockey operations, said in a statement. "One of the responsibilities of an NHL coach is to help diffuse volatile situations on the bench."
A day after Alabama suspended safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix indefinitely, the school placed strength and conditioning coach Corey Harris on administrative leave for providing impermissible benefits to the player, The Tuscaloosa News reported Thursday.
Harris gave Clinton-Dix a loan of less than $500 during the summer that was repaid before the football season began, Alabama's compliance department learned last weekend.
Coach Nick Saban suspended Clinton-Dix on Wednesday for a violation of team rules. The Tuscaloosa News reported that the school discovered a connection with Clinton-Dix and a sports agent, but an internal investigation by the university found no evidence of contact.
---A group of Mississippi football players were among audience members who allegedly heckled the cast of a university play with slurs and disrupted the production on Tuesday night, the school's student newspaper reported.
"The Laramie Project," based on the 1998 murder of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, was attended by approximately 20 Ole Miss players who used homosexual slurs such as "fag" and insulted the sexual orientation of cast members with "borderline hate speech," according to director and faculty member Rory Ledbetter.
The university is continuing to investigate the incident and will meet with athletic administrators and coaches at a later date to consider possible punishment for the individuals involved.
Old Miss coach Hugh Freeze responded Thursday morning on Twitter: "We certainly do not condone any actions that offend or hurt people in any way. We are working with all departments involved to find the facts --- Hugh Freeze (@CoachHughFreeze)