Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Kenya's Kipyegon ready for Olympic title defense after long absence
Kenya's Olympic 1,500 meters champion Faith Kipyegon said on Thursday that winning a silver medal at this year's World Championships in Doha after having a baby had motivated her to try to retain the Olympic title at Tokyo 2020. Kipyegon returned to competition this season after taking nearly two years off for the birth of her daughter last year and has recovered from an adductor injury picked up in June.
NFL notebook: Patriots QB Brady limited in practice
Though they remain atop the AFC East with a 10-2 record, the New England Patriots continue to experience setbacks. The latest involves 42-year-old quarterback Tom Brady, who was limited in practice Thursday due to toe and right elbow injuries. Brady's toe ailment reportedly is a new development, but his limited participation is a step back from Wednesday, when he was listed on the injury report as a full participant.
MLB: League, players near deal on opioid treatment - reports
Major League Baseball (MLB) and the union representing its players are nearing an agreement to refer athletes who test positive for opioids for treatment, rather than suspending them, NBC Sports reported on Thursday. The negotiations to amend the league's drug policy come months after the death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs at the age of 27, with his autopsy showing oxycodone, fentanyl and alcohol in his system.
Olympics: FIFA's Infantino proposed as IOC member, but not Coe - Bach
FIFA president Gianni Infantino has been proposed for International Olympic Committee membership, but World Athletics head Sebastian Coe will have to wait due to a conflict of interest, IOC President Thomas Bach said on Thursday. FIFA and World Athletics, the governing bodies of two of the biggest sports in the Olympics, have been without membership ever since the departure from the IOC of their respective former presidents Sepp Blatter and Lamine Diack in 2015.
Rockets filing protest to overturn loss
Not backing down in their fight to overturn their 135-133 double-overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs, the Houston Rockets plan to file an official protest over the James Harden dunk that wasn't counted, multiple media outlets reported Thursday. The Rockets planned to file their appeal within the 48 hours required to protest. Relevant evidence by both teams must then be provided within five days. After receiving the evidence, NBA commissioner Adam Silver must issue a ruling within a five-day period.
MLB notebook: Mariners trade C Narvaez to Brewers
The Milwaukee Brewers acquired catcher Omar Narvaez from the Seattle Mariners on Thursday for minor-league pitcher Adam Hill and a draft pick. Narvaez, 27, gives the Brewers a catching option after losing Yasmani Grandal to the Chicago White Sox in free agency.
Reed grabs outright lead in the Bahamas, Woods six back
Patrick Reed held the outright lead after the second round of the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas on Thursday while tournament host Tiger Woods used a back-nine surge to match the day's low score and remain six shots back. Former Masters champion Reed fired his second consecutive six-under-par 66 at the Albany Golf Club on the island of New Providence to sit three shots clear of fellow overnight leader Gary Woodland (69) in the 18-man exhibition event.
Boxing: I will die trying to defend my title against Joshua, says Ruiz Jr
World heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr has said he fulfilled a lifelong dream when he triumphed over Britain's Anthony Joshua in June and he would "die trying" to defend his belts in the title rematch in Saudi Arabia on Saturday. Mexican-American Ruiz produced one of boxing's biggest upsets when he dethroned the previously undefeated world champion Joshua with a seventh-round stoppage at New York's Madison Square Garden.
MLS announces season and home openers
MLS runner-up Toronto FC will visit the San Jose Earthquakes in one of eight matches to be played on Feb. 29, the opening day of the 2020 season. The 2018 champion Atlanta United will visit expansion Nashville SC in the latter's first-ever match, while the Houston Dynamo will host the Los Angeles Galaxy, who will play their first match without departed star Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
LeBron responds to criticism from Jazz announcers
The Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James took to Instagram on Thursday, one day after he was criticized by Utah Jazz announcers for celebrating teammate Kyle Kuzma from the side of the court while not wearing his shoes. Late in the Lakers' dominating victory over the Jazz on Wednesday night, James jumped toward the edge of the court after Kuzma blocked a shot by Jazz center Tony Bradley. When Kuzma blocked Bradley a second time in the sequence, James danced even further away from the baseline while waving a towel.