Jason Brown
AP

Jason Brown submits petition for World Championships spot

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U.S. champion and Olympian Jason Brown filed a petition for a place on the U.S. team for the World Figure Skating Championships as he misses this weekend’s Nationals with a back strain, according to U.S. Figure Skating.

“He will be back on the ice next week, so if all goes well and he continues to progress without pain, I don’t see why he can’t be ready for Worlds,” said Brown’s coach, Kori Ade, according to Icenetwork.com.

Brown, 21, hasn’t competed since October. He withdrew one week before a scheduled start at NHK Trophy in Japan in November with the back strain.

“I was trying really hard to push through for Nationals, but my back pain flared up again during training,” Brown said in a statement announcing his U.S. Championships withdrawal on Jan. 7. “Under my doctors’ orders, I have shut down all training in order to allow my body to heal completely.”

U.S. Figure Skating will consider Brown’s health and his credentials — the only active U.S. men’s skater with Olympic experience, for one — when deciding whether to put him on the three-man World Championships team, which will be announced some time after the Nationals free skate Sunday (NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra, 4-6 p.m. ET).

More on the Worlds team selection process is outlined here.

Worlds are in Boston in two months.

Brown finished fourth at last year’s World Championships, the best finish by a U.S. man at an Olympics or Worlds since Evan Lysacek‘s titles in 2009 and 2010.

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John Isner leaning toward skipping Olympics again

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John Isner, the highest-ranked U.S. male singles tennis player, is considering skipping the Olympics for a second straight time.

“I haven’t put a ton of thought into it, but as of right now, I think I’m leaning towards not playing,” the 19th-ranked player said at the Australian Open on Tuesday. “It’s about scheduling. I know the Olympics, it’s a fantastic honor. There’s no doubt about that. … Right now, at this stage in my career, it’s not a huge priority for me. So that’s probably the main reason I won’t be going. I certainly love playing in the summer in America, and I’m going to focus on that.”

The Tokyo Games take place the same week as a lower-level ATP Tour event in Atlanta that Isner, a former University of Georgia star, has won five times.

Other notable male players already said they will pass on Tokyo, including Sam Querrey, the top American in Olympic qualifying standings.

Austrian Dominic Thiem, a two-time French Open finalist, is prioritizing an ATP event in Kitzbühel the week of the Olympics. The U.S. doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan are not planning to play the Olympics in their final season before retirement, their manager said in November.

“The Olympics is very tough on the schedule … especially with Davis Cup,” Isner said in 2016, according to USA Today. “I think the fact that they have no [ATP ranking] points [at the Olympics], to be honest, was a pretty big factor as well. Obviously the Olympics is not about the money, but no points I think hindered me a bit.”

Isner, who turns 35 on April 26, is likely giving up his last chance to play Olympic singles. In his only Olympic participation, he reached the quarterfinals of the 2012 London Games, plus lost an opening-round doubles match there with Andy Roddick.

The top four U.S. men qualify for Tokyo, assuming they are among the top 60 overall qualifiers (maximum four per country) after this spring’s French Open.

Taylor FritzReilly Opelka, Steve Johnson and Tommy Paul are the U.S. men currently in Olympic qualifying position if excluding Querrey and Isner.

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Dominik Paris, world champion skier, suffers season-ending injury

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Italian Dominik Paris, the reigning world champion in the super-G, suffered a season-ending ACL tear in a training crash Tuesday ahead of this weekend’s speed races in Kitzbuehel, Austria.

Paris crashed in super-G training not far from the hallowed World Cup venue, slipping into a curve and damaging his right knee. He also suffered a fibula microfracture, according to the Italian federation.

“My season ends here,” he said, according to the International Ski Federation (FIS). “Unfortunately while I was sliding, the inside ski caught too much and the ligament broke. There is not much to add. In the next few days we will evaluate, together with the medical staff, how to proceed.”

Paris won his third Hahnenkamm downhill title last year and was one of the favorites for Saturday’s downhill, the most prestigious annual race in the sport. NBC Sports Gold streams live coverage for “Snow Pass” subscribers at 5:30 a.m. ET.

Paris, 30, won a pair of downhills in Bormio in December among five total podiums this season.

In his absence, Swiss Beat Feuz and German Thomas Dressen lead the podium contenders.

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