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Stomach bug knocks Nadal from Australian Open

Stomach bug knocks Nadal from Australian Open

MADRID (AP) Rafael Nadal will miss the Australian Open because of a stomach virus, further delaying his comeback after being sidelined since June.

The Australian Open, the year's first Grand Slam tournament, begins Jan. 14. The virus kept Nadal from making his return at Abu Dhabi this week.

The Spaniard said Friday his withdrawals had nothing to do with the tendinitis in his left knee, which forced him to take a break last summer following his second-round loss at Wimbledon to then 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol. Nadal also missed the London Olympics.

``My knee is much better and the rehabilitation process has gone well as predicted by the doctors,'' Nadal said in a statement. ``But this virus didn't allow me to practice this past week, and therefore I am sorry to announce that I will not play in Doha and the Australian Open.''

The former No. 1 player hopes to return at Acapulco, Mexico, starting Feb. 27. However, he did not rule out playing an earlier tournament if his recovery went well enough.

``I always said that my return to competition will be when I am in the right conditions to play,'' he said. ``And after all this time away from the courts, I'd rather not accelerate the comeback and prefer to do things well.''

Nadal, ranked No. 4, won the Australian Open in 2009. Last year, he lost to top-ranked Novak Djokovic in a title match that lasted 5 hours, 53 minutes, the longest recorded Grand Slam final.

Nadal's doctor, Angel Ruiz-Cotorro, said in the statement that Nadal needed at least a week to recover from the virus, ruling him out for the Qatar Open set to start on Jan. 2.

And Nadal's coach and uncle, Toni Nadal, explained that Nadal had opted against making his return at Melbourne since he wouldn't be physically fit to take on its five-set format.

``We consider not appropriate to play the Australian Open since we will not have enough preparation for a greater competition which is a Grand Slam tournament,'' said Toni Nadal in the statement. ``It is simply not conceivable that his first event is a best of five sets event, he wouldn't be ready for that.''

Nadal's knee injury prevented the 11-time Grand Slam winner from defending his Olympic singles gold at last summer's London Games, where he was supposed to be Spain's flag bearer in the opening ceremony.

He also had to pull out of the U.S. Open and Spain's Davis Cup final against the Czech Republic, and his teammates lost without him.

Former Hoya Marcus Derrickson signs a two-way contract with Golden State Warriors

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Former Hoya Marcus Derrickson signs a two-way contract with Golden State Warriors

Leaving the Georgetown Hoyas a season early is initially paying off for Marcus Derrickson. 

Less than a month before what would have been his senior season at Georgetown, the 6-7 forward has signed a two-way contract with the Golden State Warriors. 

Derrickson nabbed the second two-way position on the Warriors after an outstanding Summer League translated to a solid preseason.

Fitting right into the Warriors deep-ball oriented scheme, Derrickson was 6-16 from three point range during the five-game preseason. He's a versatile stretch-four that continues to develop and improve on his outside game. 

By signing a two-way contract, the former All-Big East Second teamer will have a chance to get called up to the two-time defending NBA champions at any point this season for up to 45 days. The remaining time will be with the Warriors' G-league affiliate the Santa Cruz Warriors

This arrangement will earn Derrickson a contract of $75,000 and a prorated amount for however much time he is practicing/ playing with Golden State. 

If he is called up to the NBA for more than the allotted 45 days, then the Warriors are obligated to give him a minimum rookie contract. 

Derrickson continues to prove himself as the list of aspiring players dwindles. As each contract begins to near its end, the Warriors time after time offer another opportunity.

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Trading Jodie Meeks gives Washington Wizards much-needed salary cap relief

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Trading Jodie Meeks gives Washington Wizards much-needed salary cap relief

With a luxury tax bill of approximately $19 million on the way, the Washington Wizards gave themselves some salary relief on Monday by trading veteran guard Jodie Meeks to the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Wizards attached a future second round pick and cash to the deal and in exchange received a future second round pick of their own, NBC Sports Washington has confirmed. ESPN first reported the news.

Though Meeks, 31, was due to make $3.45 million this season, his departure saves the Wizards about $7 million because of projected tax penalties. That's a lot of savings in a deal that got rid of a player who had become expendable.

Meeks had fallen out of favor with the Wizards for a variety of reasons. He was due to serve a 19-game suspension to begin the season due to performance-enhancing drugs. The ban was announced the day before their first round playoff series against the Raptors was set to begin in April.

Meeks also underperformed last season in the first year of his contract with the Wizards and requested a trade in February. This summer, Meeks exercised his player option to remain with the team.

The Wizards were not likely to count on Meeks much at all this season because they traded for Austin Rivers in June to add depth at the shooting guard position. Meeks' role was made clear by the fact he did not appear in any of the Wizards' four preseason games against NBA opponents.

Meeks' tenure in Washington was a significant disappointment. The Wizards signed him last summer in hopes he could shore up the shooting guard spot on their bench. 

Though he stayed healthy for the first time in years, he never earned the trust of his coaching staff. The Wizards opted to rely more heavily on starter Bradley Beal, who logged the fourth-most minutes of any NBA player last season.

Now, they are moving on.

Meeks leaving the organization should have little effect on the Wizards, though it does leave them with a hole on their roster that needs to be filled. They currently have 13 players, one below the league minimum. The Wizards now have 14 days to add a 14th player.

They could sign a free agent, convert one of their players on two-way contracts (Devin Robinson and Jordan McRae) or make a trade. The Meeks deal gives them a $3.45 million trade exception.

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