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ST. LOUIS — For the second straight offseason, Albert Pujols will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow.

The St. Louis Cardinals said in a brief news release that the two-time NL MVP will undergo a debridement procedure — which could be used to shave bone spurs — on Wednesday morning in Birmingham, Ala., at a medical facility under the direction of Dr. James Andrews.

The team said it will provide further details after the surgery.

Last October, Pujols underwent a 25-minute outpatient procedure to relieve nerve irritation in the elbow that led to numbness, tingling and weakness.

The 29-year-old led the majors with 47 homers this season while batting .327 with 135 RBIs.

Pro Football

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers have signed running back Ahman Green, bringing back another veteran.

Faced with a need at the position after third-down back DeShawn Wynn hurt his knee, the Packers turned to Green, who has been out of football since being cut by Houston in February. He left the Packers to sign with the Texans as a free agent for the 2007 season but struggled, gaining 554 yards in 14 games over two seasons.

Green needs 46 more yards to surpass Jim Taylor's franchise rushing record of 8,207.

Green's signing today comes a week after the team brought back veteran right tackle Mark Tauscher, who was not re-signed in the offseason after hurting his knee last December.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Ex-NFL quarterback Steve McNair's mistress exchanged messages for weeks with the man who sold her the gun she used to kill McNair and herself, police said.

The findings came a day after investigators released 50 text messages between McNair and Sahel Kazemi they say supports their conclusion of a murder-suicide because she was desperate over money and feared their relationship was ending.

Police spokesman Don Aaron said Kazemi also was in contact weeks before the July 4 killings with Adrian Gilliam, who pleaded guilty to gun charges for selling the weapon to her.

CHICAGO — The Chicago Bears and quarterback Jay Cutler agreed on a two-year contract extension that runs through the 2013 season.

A person familiar with the negotiations said the deal includes approximately $20 million guaranteed and roughly $30 million in new money. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the terms were not released.

Acquired in a blockbuster trade from Denver in the offseason, the Pro Bowl quarterback has thrown for 1,201 yards with 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions while leading Chicago to a 3-2 record. Cutler has thrown for 10,225 yards and 64 touchdowns in his career.

College Football

WASHINGTON — Sen. Orrin Hatch is asking President Barack Obama to launch a Justice Department investigation into college football's Bowl Championship Series over antitrust laws.

Hatch tells the president in a letter today that a "strong case" can be made that the BCS violates antitrust laws. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter.

Under the BCS system, some conferences get automatic bids to participate in top-tier bowls while others don't, and the automatic bid conferences also get far more of the revenue. Hatch represents Utah, and he says the current system unfairly discriminates against some conferences. The BCS has said it simply recognizes the teams people want to watch. Neither the White House nor the Justice Department has an immediate comment.

NEW YORK — Bowl Championship Series officials are considering hiring a permanent point person to be a full-time advocate for the often criticized postseason system.

If a new position were created it likely would take over much of the high-profile responsibilities of the BCS coordinator — a two-year post that rotates among the commissioners of the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big East, Big 12 and Southeastern Conference.

The coordinator currently acts as the public face and voice of the BCS, but the demands of the job have outgrown the part-time position and can at times create conflicts of interest for the conference commissioner in charge.

Pro Basketball

NEW YORK — The NBA's locked-out referees could be back on the floor in time for the regular season.

The league has made a new proposal, and a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press it will be recommended for approval to the referees on Friday. The person, who requested anonymity because the negotiations are ongoing, said it's "highly likely" they'll be on the court for next Tuesday's season opener in Cleveland.

The breakthrough in the labor dispute came after a meeting that included commissioner David Stern and referees union negotiator Lamell McMorris — who had both previously withdrawn from the process.


BRISBANE, Australia — Former No. 1-ranked player Justine Henin confirmed she'll make her return to the WTA Tour at the Brisbane International two weeks ahead of her comeback to Grand Slam tennis at the Australian Open.

Despite having a No. 1 ranking when she retired in May last year, the 27-year-old Henin does not have a protected ranking. She has been granted wild-card entries for the main draws at Brisbane and the Australian Open.


FELCSUT, Hungary — FIFA president Sepp Blatter indicated he plans to run for re-election in 2011, saying he still wants to introduce new initiatives to develop soccer worldwide.

Blatter did not formally declare his candidacy to his 23 colleagues on FIFA's ruling executive committee when they met in Rio de Janeiro three weeks ago. FIFA's next congress is to be held June 10-11 in Johannesburg on the eve of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

— The Associated Press

—Blatter's third term ends at the 2011 gathering scheduled for Switzerland.

Candidates can be nominated by any of FIFA's 208 national member associations, and must be proposed in writing at least two months before the congress.

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