PRESS BOX: Soccer star Messi out 6-8 weeks

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Superstar Barcelona striker Lionel Messi will be sidelined 6-8 weeks with a torn hamstring, the team announced on its website on Monday.
Messi, the World Player of the Year the past four years in a row, suffered the injury during Barca's 4-1 win over Real Betis on Sunday. The Argentine star had scored 14 goals in his 16 games this season.
The injury will keep the 26-year-old Messi out of both of Argentina's upcoming friendlies against Ecuador and Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as up to eight matches for Barcelona.
This is Messi's third injury this season. He suffered a bruised thigh during an Aug. 21 game that kept him out a week. He then sustained a small tear in his right thigh in a game in September that sidelined him for three weeks.

---Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos, was wheeled off the ice on a stretcher after breaking his right tibia during Monday's game against Boston.
The team confirmed Stamkos will have surgery on Tuesday.
Stamkos was backchecking on Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton when he went down and slammed into the post.
The injury will keep Stamkos from playing for Team Canada in the Winter Olympics in February at Sochi, Russia.

---Ottawa Senators goaltender Robin Lehner, Anaheim Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen and Chicago Blackhawks left wing Patrick Sharp were named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week, the league announced.

---Houston Rockets guard James Harden was fined $5,000 for violating the NBA's anti-flopping rules for the second time this season.
The incident occurred with 4 minutes left in the fourth quarter of Houston's 107-94 loss to the visiting Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.

---Kentucky and Michigan State retained the top two spots in the Associated Press' first regular-season poll.
The Wildcats and Spartans meet Tuesday night in the Champions Classic doubleheader in Chicago. It is the first time in five years that the top two teams in the country have met.

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