Austin faces spell on Saints' sidelines
LONDON • Southampton footballer Charlie Austin is set to have an operation on a dislocated shoulder and will be sidelined for up to four months, manager Claude Puel said on Sunday.
Austin, Southampton's top scorer this season with nine goals in all competitions, missed Sunday's 1-0 Premier League win over Middlesbrough after being injured in Thursday's 1-1 Europa League draw with Hapoel Beer-Sheva.
"He needs surgery and will be out for perhaps between three months and four months," Puel told reporters.
Sun sets on Chinese footballer's career
BEIJING • Former Manchester City defender Sun Jihai, one of the first Chinese footballers to play in the English Premier League, has announced his retirement from the sport.
"Today I am retiring, bidding farewell to 22 years of campaigning on the football pitch," the 39-year-old wrote in a statement posted on his verified Weibo social media account over the weekend.
Aru named as new leader of Astana
ASTANA (Kazakhstan) • Italian cyclist Fabio Aru has been named as the new team leader of the Astana team after the departure of his compatriot Vincenzo Nibali, the Kazakh outfit confirmed on Sunday.
The 26-year-old Sardinian climber is one of a clutch of riders expected to dominate the sport in the coming years and he won the Vuelta a Espana in 2015.
Astana, who have been troubled by doping scandals in the past, unveiled 10 new riders at a Sunday presentation in Kazakhstan's capital.
Joshua tipped for world champ title
LONDON • Anthony Joshua can stun Wladimir Klitschko to become the undisputed world heavyweight champion, according to the British boxer's trainer Rob McCracken.
Joshua beat Eric Molina in a second successful defence of his International Boxing Federation heavyweight title on Saturday, before promoter Eddie Hearn announced a deal had been struck for the Briton and Klitschko to meet in a showdown bout at Wembley Stadium on April 29.
"Anthony can box, can move well, has great balance. Speed is the key as well. And that will be the plan for Klitschko, that Klitschko just can't avoid or defend what's coming from Anthony," McCracken said.
Latvian skeleton side to snub Sochi C'ships
RIGA (Latvia) • Latvia's powerful skeleton team will boycott the 2017 world championships in Sochi after Russia was accused of state-sponsored doping, saying on Sunday its giant neighbour had "stolen" the Olympic spirit.
Latvia said that they want the Feb 13-26 International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) World Championships to be switched from the Black Sea venue in Russia which hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics.
The Latvian bobsleigh team has yet to decide on their participation in Sochi.