Injuries start the headlines today with surprise German Bundesliga leaders Hoffenheim hoping that super striker Vedad Ibisevic does not have a torn ACL. And Rafael Nadal and Jelena Jankovic are the number one seeds for the Australian Open, which starts next week.

Hoffenheim fans are hoping and holding their collective breaths after Bosnian striker Vedad Ibisevic is feared to have suffered a torn ACL to his right knee for the surprise German Bundesliga leaders.

Ibisevic, who scored a league-best 18 goals in the first half for the promoted side, went down injured in Hoffenheim’s 2-0 loss against Hamburg. And he will undergo an MRI on Thursday to determine the exact nature of the injury. If it is a torn ACL, Hoffenheim could be without Ibisevic for two months. That would be a huge blow for Hoffenheim’s hopes of remaining among the leaders in the Bundesliga.

English giants Manchester United also saw a striker go down as Wayne Rooney injured his hamstring in Manchester United’s 1-0 win over Wigan Athletic at Old Trafford. Rooney is expected to miss three weeks.

Heading from the European pitch to the courts Down Under, where Rafael Nadal of Spain and Serbian Jelena Jankovic have been given the number one seeds for the Australian Open.
Roger Federer is second in the men’s draw followed by defending champion Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. The rest of the women’s top four seeds are Serena Williams second ahead of Dinara Safina and Elena Dementieva.

The on-going bickering in Melbourne continued as Murray said he’s not afraid of playing against Fereder, who he has beaten the last four times. This will be a fun battle this season – including Nadal.

Federer, in another topic, said the Australian Open should be played two weeks later to take advantage of cash-rich events in the Persian Gulf. Roger going out and saying already rich players should have the chance to get rich. Interesting.

Back to football/soccer, recently-crowned FIFA Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo proved driving may be another thing as he crashed his Ferrari sports car though he did walk away uninjured.

And while Cristiano Ronaldo won the FIFA award, Argentina star Lionel Messi received some pretty high praise from Arjen Robben and Rivaldo.

This seemed like it should be coming soon. South Africans have admitted they are slowly feeling the burden of expectations for the 2010 World Cup warm-up tournament in June, the  Confederations Cup where a few leading officials including FIFA President Sepp Blatter and 2010 World Cup CEO Danny Jordaan have said they expected the South African national team at least to reach the semifinals of the Confed Cup tournament.

Over to the hardcourt really quick where Chris Paul flirted with a quadruple-double but had to be satisfied with 33 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds and seven steals in the New Orleans Hornets’ 104-97 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

One of the best high school basketball players in the U.S., 6-foot-9 power forward Derrick Favors of Atlanta has decided to play for hometown Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.  Other leading candidates were North Carolina State and Georgia.

Two baseball notes to close: the Chicago Cubs say they hope the sale of the team to be completed by Opening Day 2009.
And pitcher Bartolo Colon is returning to the Chicago White Sox on a one-year deal.



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