Ryan Lochte

Ryan Lochte may not need surgery for knee injuries

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Ryan Lochte suffered a torn MCL and a sprained ACL after a fan ran into him, but he may recover without surgery.

“It’s too soon to know how long he’ll be out,” his sister, Kristin Lochte-Keeler, told Lochte’s hometown newspaper, the Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal. “He’s going for a second opinion. At this point, they’re saying he does not need knee surgery.”

Lochte suffered left knee injuries Sunday when a teenage girl ran at him, he caught her and they both toppled over, as first reported by USA Today and confirmed by a Lochte representative. Lochte’s knee hit a curb in Gainesville, Fla.

“As a result of a freak injury caused by an unexpected fan encounter Ryan has suffered a torn MCL and an ACL sprain and will be taking a break from training and competition,” read a statement from a Lochte representative. “His medical team expects him to make a full and speedy recovery and Ryan thanks everyone for their well wishes.”

Lochte’s sister told the Daytona Beach News-Journal the knee was compromised before the incident.

“A fan jumped on him, and he already has a bad knee and that knee buckled,” she said.

Lochte has a long list of bizarre injuries.

He tore his left meniscus break dancing, fractured a shoulder falling out of a tree, fractured a foot in a scooter accident, sprained his ankle chasing his Doberman, Carter, strained an MCL reaching for a cellphone in his car and has hurt himself skateboarding, according to various reports over the years.

Lochte, who recently moved from Florida to Charlotte, had been scheduled to compete at Duel in the Pool, Dec. 20-21, in Scotland. There’s no word yet on if he has pulled out of that meet.

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What to watch at Drake Relays, Penn Relays

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Olympic gold medalists ramp up their track and field seasons at the Penn Relays and Drake Relays, live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold this weekend.

Athletes are working toward the U.S. Championships in June and the world championships in August.

First, the historic Penn Relays will air on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold on Friday (5:30-6:30 p.m. ET) and Saturday (12:30-3 p.m. ET).

USA vs. The World in men’s and women’s 4x100m, 4x400m and sprint medley relays will air live on Saturday from Franklin Field in Philadelphia. A full schedule is here.

The U.S. teams are led by Olympic relay champions English Gardner and Natasha Hastings. The full roster is here.

Rio Olympic rematches highlight the individual-event fields at the Drake Relays in Des Moines on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold from 3-5 p.m ET on Saturday. A full schedule is here.

Perhaps no field is deeper than the 100m hurdles. World-record holder Keni Harrison takes on Rio silver and bronze medalists Kristi Castlin and Nia Ali, plus 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper-Nelson.

The 110m hurdles contingent is strong as well. It features the last two Olympic champions, Jamaican Omar McLeod and American Aries Merritt, plus 2013 World champion David Oliver.

Grenada’s Kirani James and American LaShawn Merritt, who earned silver and bronze in Rio, go head-to-head again in the 400m at Drake.

The men’s 1500m is headlined by Rio Olympic 800m bronze medalist Clayton Murphy and London Olympic 1500m silver medalist Leo Manzano.

Rio bronze medalist Jenny Simpson races individually for the first time this year in the women’s 1500m.

That field also includes New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin, who gained fame of her own in Rio. Hamblin and American Abbey D’Agostino fell in an Olympic 5000m heat and helped each other make it to the finish line. Both were praised for their sportsmanship.

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IOC president unsure whether esports should be considered sport

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Esports are gaining momentum in the international sports movement, but they are not close to becoming an Olympic sport.

“We are not yet 100 percent clear whether esports is really sport, with regard to physical activity and what it needs to be considered sport,” IOC president Thomas Bach said Tuesday, according to insidethegames. “We do not see an organization or a structure that will give us confidence, or guarantee, that in this area the Olympic rules and values of sport are respected and in place, and that the implementation of these rules are monitored and secured.”

The first clear step (of many) to become an Olympic sport is for the IOC to recognize the sport’s international governing body.

Esports will be added as a medal sport to the Asian Games in 2022, and has been praised by LA 2024 Olympic bid chairman Casey Wasserman, but it is not yet IOC recognized.

“We are watching it, we see the differences, we see the lack of organisation,” Bach said, according to the report. “But we also see the high engagement of youth in esports. Therefore, we have to carefully consider how this could be consolidated.”

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