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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUND-UP: Twins' GM Ryan anounces he has treatable cancer

MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota Twins general manager Terry Ryan revealed today that he's being treated for a cancerous lump in his neck  It was detected during a routine annual physical and a subsequent biopsy confirmed it was squamos cell carcinoma. 

The 61-year-old Ryan says tests indicate the cancer appears to be confined to his neck and has not spread to other parts of his body.  Treatment and recovery will prevent Ryan from attending the start of Spring Training in Fort Myers, Florida.  He's being treated at the Mayo Clinic and Minnesota Oncology.  


While some Minnesota Twins are already down in Florida preparing for the season, pitchers and catchers will report on Sunday.  The first official workout will take place on Monday with the full squad reporting a week from Friday.  The first spring training game is February 28th against the Red Sox in Fort Myers.


Dwight Howard posted a double-double with 18 points and 15 rebounds to help the Rockets pound the Timberwolves, 107-89, at the Target Center. Chandler Parsons paced Houston with 20 points and six assists, while James Harden added 19 with five assists and five rebounds.  The Rockets have won six in-a-row.  Kevin Love returned to the court after missing one game to post 31 points and 10 rebounds.  Minnesota shot 36-percent as a team and turned the ball over 17 times.  The T'Wolves have lost four straight and six of seven.  Minnesota hosts Denver tomorrow night in the final game before the NBA All-Star Break.  Denver lost to Indiana 119-80 last night in Indianapolis.


Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman missed last night's game against the Rockets due to personal reasons.  Terry Porter filled in as he did during Adelman's 11-game absence last January.  The team expects Adelman back for tomorrow's game against the Nuggets.  The team is scheduled to practice today.


University of Minnesota head basketball coach Richard Pitino says he hopes cooler heads can prevail in relation to fan behavior towards college basketball players.  An Oklahoma State basketball player shoved a Texas Tech fan in a game over the weekend, leading to a lot of national reaction.  Pitino says he believes OSU's Marcus Smart was wrong in escalating the altercation, but he also thinks the fan's behavior was unacceptable.  Pitino says he talks to his players on occasion to let them know they have to ignore fans that scream things at them.  Pitino also believes it is time for the Big Ten to mandate a larger buffer zone between the student sections and the visiting bench.  He is concerned there are too many Big Ten venues where the home student sections are too close to the opposing bench, which could lead to heightened intensity and potentially poor behavior and reaction.  Pitino made his comments on his weekly statewide radio program on the Gopher Radio Network.


The Minnesota Wild are enjoying some extended down time as the NHL goes on hiatus during the Winter Olympics.  Many of the league's top stars are in Russia to compete for their respective countries.  The NHL regular season picks back up on February 26th, with Minnesota's first game back on February 27th at Edmonton.


The Team USA men's Olympic hockey team won't have its general manager David Poile in Sochi, Russia.  The Nashville Predators GM won't make the trip after suffering multiple facial injuries last week when he was hit with a puck during a practice session at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.  Poile was standing in one of the arena's entry tunnels when an errant puck flew into the area and hit him in the face.  The Predators were practicing in the venue in preparation for a game against the Wild.  Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero  will take over in Russia.  The U.S. men's team opens Olympic competition on Thursday against Slovakia.  There are ten players on the American roster with Minnesota ties.


The U.S. women's curling team is still looking for a win at the Olympic Games.  Team USA suffered a 9-6 loss in this morning's session to host nation Russia and fell to 0-2 in the tournament.  Richfield's Jessica Schultz and Eden Prairie's Allison Pottinger are members of the U.S team.  Pottinger did not take part in this morning's contest.  She is an alternate.  The Americans face Great Britain later today in Session Three of the women's tournament.


The U.S. men's curling team, comprised of several Minnesotans, lost to China 9-4 at the Ice Cube in Sochi, Russia to also go 0-2 in the Olympics so far.   The Americans suffered a 7-4 loss to Norway in their first contest on Monday.  The U.S conceded defeated in the ninth end after falling behind by five points. The U.S men's team consists of Jared Zezel of Hibbing, John Shuster of Chisholm, Jeff Isaacson of Lakeland, and John Landsteiner of Mapleton.  The U.S. men have medaled just once in curling, scoring a bronze in 2006.


Canada has taken over the lead in the medal count after grabbing gold and bronze in the women's ski slopestyle event.  Canada now has nine medals overall, two better than The Netherlands and Norway.  The United States is up to six medals, tied with host nation Russia.


Afton's Jessica Diggins failed move on from the quarterfinals of the Olympic women's cross country skiing sprint event this morning. Diggins finished third in her heat in a time of 2:38.06 with the top two qualifying for the semifinals.


Bloomington's Keri Herman finished tenth at this morning's Winter Olympics women's ski slopestyle event.  Her Amerian teammate Devin Logan won the silver medal.  Dara Howell of Canada won the gold medal, posting a 94.20 in her first run to win the inaugural women's slopestyle Olympic event. Canada's Kim Lamarre took the bronze with a score of 85.00 on her second run.  Team USA swept the snowboard version of the slopestyle event with Sage Kotsenburg winning the men's and Jamie Anderson capturing the women's gold.


The Minnesota Vikings added Hank Fraley to the staff of first-year head coach Mike Zimmer.  Fraley will serve as an assistant offensive line coach.  He comes to Minnesota after working as the offensive line coach at San Jose State last season.  Here is an updated Vikings coaching staff list:

Norv Turner, offensive coordinator

George Edwards, defensive coordinator

Mike Priefer, special teams coordinator

Robb Akey, assistant defensive line coach

Jeff Davidson, offensive line coach

Hank Fraley, assistant offensive line coach

Ryan Ficken, assistant special teams coach

Jonathan Gannon, assistant defensive backs coach

Jerry Gray, defensive backs coach

Jeff Howard, defensive assistant coach

Klint Kubiak, assistant wide receivers coach

Andre Patterson, defensive line coach

Drew Petzing, coaching assistant

Kevin Stefanski, tight ends coach

George Stewart, wide receivers coach

Scott Turner, quarterbacks coach

Kirby Wilson, running backs coach

Adam Zimmer, linebackers coach


Denver Broncos Vice President John Elway will evaluate Missouri's Michael Sam like any other college football player.  Sam recently came out as gay and could be the first openly homosexual player in the NFL.  Elway said yesterday that Sam will be judged on "the basis of his ability, character and NFL potential" ahead of the upcoming draft.  The defensive lineman was an All-American during his senior season.