The Jamaica Rugby League Association is set to officially restart national training for domestic players, after getting the green light from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM).

The permission is timely as the Reggae Warriors are set to participate in the Rugby League World Cup in England at the end of 2022, and its domestic contingent has gone over 18 months without matches.

Plans are in place to have the maximum 50 male and a similar number of female players chosen, with two representative squads for each to then be selected under the Parish of Residence (POR) banner.

Team Red will feature players mostly residing or playing for clubs, colleges and universities in Kingston and St. Andrew whilst Team Blue will be made up of players mostly living in or playing for clubs, colleges, or universities in St. Catherine and other parishes.

Strict ODPEM Covid-19 protocols will be followed at all sessions and games. A total of five matches are expected to be staged from April to September, Covid conditions permitting. All players and officials must be vaccinated or undergo testing before each session.

“We would like to thank both ODPEM and the Ministry of Sport for the hard work being done to give National Governing Bodies the green light to return to some activity. Massive credit goes to our vice-chairman Adrian Hall who spearheaded our bid to return to train, it’s been an agonizing wait,” said JRLA Director of Rugby Romeo Monteith.

“Our rugby league community has been devastated by the long absence from playing and at least now our national players can officially resume preparation for the World Cup and other international events we are planning for the year. We continue to ask our wider members to be patient and exercise good judgement as we await further improvements in the health situation and a return to community and school rugby league.”

Daniil Medvedev revealed defeat to record-breaker Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final had crushed his tennis dreams, accusing the Melbourne crowd of being "disrespectful" and claiming he gets rough treatment because he is Russian.

After delivering an unexpected monologue at the beginning of his post-match news conference, that Medvedev described as the "story of a young kid who dreamed about big things in tennis", the 25-year-old questioned whether he would feel wanted enough to play on beyond the age of 30.

He spoke of various highs and lows in the early years of his career, before making it clear he included his fourth grand slam final appearance on Sunday in the list of letdowns, but not purely because of the result.

"I'm talking about a few moments where the kid stopped dreaming, and today was one of them, and I'm not going to really tell why," Medvedev said.

"So from today I'm playing for myself, for my family, to provide my family, for people that trust in me; of course for all the Russians, because I feel a lot of support there.

"If there is a tournament on hardcourts in Moscow before Roland Garros or Wimbledon, I'm going to go there even if I miss Wimbledon or Roland Garros or whatever.

"The kid's stopped dreaming, the kid's going to play for himself, and that's it, that's my story, thanks for listening guys."

Despite saying he would not discuss his initial statement, he was easily persuaded to expand on his points.

Medvedev said Nadal, who came from two sets down to beat the US Open champion, had been "unreal", as the Spaniard won a 21st grand slam title, moving ahead of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. And Medvedev also said he had no major regrets about his own performance, although he must wonder how he failed to close this one out.

He then expanded on his gripe by confirming it was the crowd's response to him that had left him upset and disenchanted, saying almost all the support was behind Nadal.

"Before Rafa serves even in the fifth set, there would be somebody, and I would even be surprised, like one guy screaming, 'C'mon, Daniil'. A thousand people would be like, 'Tsss, tsss, tsss'. That sound. Before my serve, I didn't hear it," Medvedev said.

"It's disappointing. It's disrespectful, it's disappointing. I'm not sure after 30 years I'm going to want to play tennis.

"It depends what people around me are going to tell me, but the kid that truly was dreaming is not any more in me after today. It will be tougher to continue tennis when it's like this."

He spoke about facing the 'Big Three' – Djokovic, Federer and Nadal – during recent seasons.

"Every time I stepped on the court in these big matches, I really didn't see much people who wanted me to win," he said. "It's cumulative, but today was like the top of the mountain.

"I think nationality plays a key. I can definitely see when you are playing somebody from the other country, they would go for them and not for the Russian or something like this."

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic each paid tribute to Rafael Nadal after he passed the pair with his 21st grand slam title at the Australian Open.

Nadal set a new men's singles benchmark, breaking a three-way tie with Federer and Djokovic on 20 triumphs, as he battled back against Daniil Medvedev.

The Spaniard, whose career had appeared to be in some doubt last year due to injury, fought for over five hours to recover from two sets down in Sunday's epic final.

Federer, through injury, and Djokovic, deported amid coronavirus controversy, were both absent in Melbourne, although they have previously let slip respective opportunities to move to 21 titles.

Both therefore recognised the scale of Nadal's achievement as they took to social media.

"What a match! To my friend and great rival @rafaelnadal, heartfelt congratulations on becoming the first man to win 21 grand slam singles titles," Federer wrote on his Instagram story.

"A few months ago we were joking about both being on crutches. Amazing. Never underestimate a great champion.

"Your incredible work ethic, dedication and fighting spirit are an inspiration to me and countless others around the world.

"I am proud to share this era with you and honoured to play a role in pushing you to achieve more, as you have done for me for the past 18 years.

"I am sure you have more achievements ahead but for now enjoy this one!"

Djokovic, posting for the first time since the tournament started in his absence, said on Twitter: "There has been some outstanding tennis played at this year's #AusOpen and the finals were exceptional.

"Congratulations to @ashbarty for an amazing performance in front of her home crowd and to Danielle Collins for an incredible tournament.

"Congratulations to @RafaelNadal for 21st GS. Amazing achievement. Always impressive fighting spirit that prevailed another time. Enhorabuena.

"@Medwed33 gave it his all out there and played with the passion and determination we have come to expect from him."

Manchester United have confirmed Mason Greenwood will take no part in training nor matches until further notice after allegations were made against the forward on social media.

Earlier on Sunday, the club said they were "aware of images and allegations circulating" in relation to the 20-year-old England international, stating they do "not condone violence of any kind".

They have now confirmed Greenwood will take no part in first-team activities until further notice.

A statement released to Stats Perform read: "Mason Greenwood will not return to training or play matches until further notice."

Rafael Nadal made history by clinching a record-breaking 21st grand slam title with an extraordinary win in the Australian Open final.

The Spaniard became the first man to win 21 majors, breaking his tie with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

Nadal edged Daniil Medvedev 2-6 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-4 7-5 in an incredible final that lasted nearly five and a half hours on Rod Laver Arena.

We take a look at each of Nadal's grand slam successes.

2005 French Open
Nadal's maiden major was largely unsurprising. Then 18, Nadal carried a 17-match winning streak to Roland Garros. Ranked fifth in the world after starting the year outside the top 50, Nadal beat Federer in the semi-finals before getting past Mariano Puerta in the decider. He became the first man to win the tournament on debut since Mats Wilander in 1982.

2006 French Open
That would be the start of an almost unstoppable run in Paris. Lleyton Hewitt and a young Djokovic were unable to halt his run in 2006 before he again overcame Federer, this time in the final, after dropping the first set. It was the Swiss great's first loss in a grand slam decider.

2007 French Open
Federer's win over Nadal in the final in Hamburg heading into the French Open gave the Swiss hope after ending the Spaniard's 81-match winning streak on clay. But after beating Hewitt, Carlos Moya and Djokovic on his way to the decider, Nadal again proved too good for Federer in four sets.

2008 French Open
Nadal made it four in a row in 2008 in ruthless fashion. He lost just 25 games on his way to the semis before beating Djokovic. Federer again stood between him and the title, and the Spaniard handed his great rival a 6-1 6-3 6-0 thrashing.

2008 Wimbledon
The next meeting between the greats would prove far closer, far more entertaining and land Nadal his first grand slam title away from Roland Garros. After an epic lasting almost five hours, Nadal edged Federer 9-7 in the fifth set on Centre Court to win the Wimbledon final in near darkness.

2009 Australian Open
Having risen to world number one for the first time in his career in August of the previous year, Nadal celebrated the top ranking by winning his first hard-court major. After a comfortable run to the last four, he edged Fernando Verdasco in an epic semi-final that lasted five hours, 14 minutes. Another four-plus hours and five sets were needed to get past Federer in the decider.

2010 French Open
Nadal suffered a first ever loss at Roland Garros the year prior, going down to Robin Soderling in the fourth round. But he reclaimed the title in 2010, beating Soderling in straight sets in the final. He did not drop a set on his way to the crown.

2010 Wimbledon
It would be a memorable 2010 for Nadal, who would win three majors in a single year for the only time in his career so far. His biggest test at the All England Club came from Philipp Petzschner in a five-setter in the third round before wins over Soderling, Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych from the quarter-finals onwards.

2010 US Open
Nadal had never been beyond the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows before his first success in New York in 2010. It was a comfortable run before a four-set victory over Djokovic in the final completed his career Grand Slam.

2011 French Open
Djokovic was too good for Nadal in the Rome final before the French Open, but the Serbian fell to Federer in the semi-finals in Paris. Nadal survived a surprise five-set battle against John Isner in the first round before again beating Federer in the decider.

2012 French Open
Nadal had lost three consecutive major finals – all to Djokovic – before he turned that around at Roland Garros. After a comfortable run to the decider, he needed four sets to get past the Serbian for his record seventh French Open crown.

2013 French Open
Nadal and Djokovic met in a Paris epic the following year, this time in the semi-finals. Nadal edged a classic encounter 9-7 in the fifth before cruising past countryman David Ferrer in the decider.

2013 US Open
Djokovic would get his chance on his preferred surface in New York later that year, but Nadal proved too strong in four sets in the decider. Nadal dropped just two sets on his way to the title.

2014 French Open
Djokovic had again beaten Nadal in the Rome final, but again was unable to stop the Spaniard in Paris. Nadal was untroubled on his way to the decider before recovering from a set down in the final to again beat Djokovic. The 14th grand slam of his career saw him draw level with Pete Sampras on the all-time list.

2017 French Open
After going two years without a grand slam title, Nadal ended his 'drought' in Paris in 2017, claiming 'La Decima'. He did so without dropping a set, rushing past Dominic Thiem and Stan Wawrinka in his final two matches. Nadal became the first man to win a single grand slam 10 times – and he remains the only one to manage that feat.

2017 US Open
More success would follow in New York in what was arguably one of the easiest runs to a major crown of Nadal's career. The highest ranked player Nadal faced was world number 28 Juan Martin del Potro in the semis before cruising past Kevin Anderson in the decider.

2018 French Open
Nadal was at it again in Paris the following year. He lost a set to Diego Schwartzman in the quarter-finals but was otherwise relentless on his way to an 11th Roland Garros crown.

2019 French Open
Nadal was developing a new rivalry at the French Open, but it was not one to stop his success. He was again ruthless on his way to the final and for the second year in a row was too good for Thiem in the final.

2019 US Open
His run in New York was again comfortable, at least until he reached the final. Medvedev put up a huge fight in the decider, which eventually went Nadal's way after almost five hours on Arthur Ashe Stadium, as he closed to within one of Federer's 20 grand slams.

2020 French Open
Another year, another French Open title for Nadal. There was again no stopping the Spaniard as he romped through without losing a set, including demolishing Djokovic in the final.

2022 Australian Open
Nadal became the first man to win 21 grand slam titles with the unlikeliest of major crowns. Just months earlier, he had doubts over his career due to a foot injury. After reaching the final, a five-set quarter-final win over Denis Shapovalov his biggest test, Nadal produced an extraordinary comeback. After nearly five and a half hours, he came from two sets to love down against Medvedev to win the decider. He became the second man in the Open Era to win every grand slam at least twice, and was the first in the same period to come from two sets to love down and win an Australian Open final.

Tyrann Mathieu is expected to play for the Kansas City Chiefs as they look to clinch a place in the Super Bowl for the third successive season.

Mathieu suffered a concussion in the Chiefs' thrilling 42-36 win over the Buffalo Bills in the Divisional Round of the playoffs last Sunday.

But multiple reports suggest the safety will feature for the Chiefs when they host the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game.

Mathieu led the Chiefs with three interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, during the regular season.

His tally of 13 interceptions since joining the Chiefs in 2019 is tied for the second-most among safeties, trailing only Justin Simmons (14) of the Denver Broncos.

With Joe Burrow sacked nine times in the Bengals' win over the Tennessee Titans last week, the Chiefs will hope pressure on the quarterback can lead to turnover opportunities for the likes of Mathieu.

Though he has been accurate under pressure with a well-thrown ball percentage of 81.1, which is the best in the NFL (min. 100 attempts) in those circumstances, Burrow has produced nine pickable passes for his 143 attempts under duress.

His pickable pass percentage of 6.29 under pressure is inferior to the average of 5.53 per cent for quarterbacks with at least 100 such throws.

Rafael Nadal said winning a record 21st grand slam felt "just amazing" as he staged a mesmerising comeback to beat Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final.

The 35-year-old Spaniard won 2-6 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-4 7-5 in five hours and 24 minutes on Rod Laver Arena, snatching victory in a match that looked Medvedev's for the taking after two sets.

In the process, Nadal went past great rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic on the all-time list of men's singles grand slam winners, just months after a foot injury left him with doubts over his future in tennis.

For Medvedev this was a second successive Australian Open final defeat, having lost to Djokovic 12 months ago, and his frustration was apparent over his failure to close out the match from two sets in front.

This was Nadal's second Australian Open title and first since 2009, when he beat Federer in another five-set tussle. At the end of this match, as Nadal celebrated, the great Laver himself was captured on television footage taking a photograph of the scene.

It was 01:32 on Monday morning in Melbourne when Nadal got his hands on the trophy, and as he addressed the crowd, he began: "Good evening everybody. Well, good morning at least."

Nadal had sympathy for Medvedev, describing the Russian as "an amazing champion". Reflecting on his own disappointments in Melbourne, where he has lost four finals, Nadal said: "I don't have any doubt you'll have this trophy a couple of times in your career because you're amazing."

Roared on by thousands of witnesses to history, Nadal told Medvedev: "It has been one of the most emotional matches of my tennis career, and to share this court with you is just an honour."

There were no tears from Nadal. He was briefly stumped for words to recognise his achievement, saying: "I even don't know what to say, guys.

"For me, it's just amazing. One month and a half ago I didn't know if I would be able to be back on the tour playing tennis again, and today I'm in front of you having this trophy with me.

"You really don't know how much I've fought to be here. Thank you so much for the love and the support. Without a doubt I am having probably one of the most emotional moments in my tennis career."

Nadal lost a five hours and 53 minutes epic against Djokovic in the 2012 Australian Open final. That remains the longest grand slam final in history, but this pushed it close.

The champion said the support he was shown in Melbourne would "stay in my heart for the rest of my life", before pointing again to his battle to get fit after the foot problem that forced him to abandon his 2021 season in August.

"One month and a half ago, I would have said maybe there is a chance that's going to be my last Australian Open," Nadal said. "But now that's plenty of energy to keep going, so thank you very much.

"I really can't explain the feelings I have right now, but I'm going to try my best to keep coming next year."

A humdinger of a final saw Medvedev force a two-set lead, only for Nadal to dramatically level the match, the 35-year-old rolling back the years.

Nadal broke early in the decider to lead 3-2 and then withstood fierce pressure from Medvedev in the next game.

It was astonishing that the Spaniard was outmanoeuvring a man 10 years his junior, and a player who beat Djokovic in straight sets in last year's US Open final.

At 5-4, Nadal had a service game to cross the winning line. Federer missed a chance to reach 21 slams when he could not take two championship points against Novak Djokovic in the 2019 Wimbledon final, and this was a similar opportunity for Nadal.

At 30-15, he served a double fault, and Medvedev pounced on his chance, winning the next point after a fizzing forehand and smash, and the next when Nadal netted. The decider was back on serve, but Nadal was not finished, engineering three break points in the next game and jumping on the third of those, Medvedev hoisting a forehand long.

This time Nadal was not to be denied. When Medvedev could not scoop back a backhand volley, the title was Nadal's, and the broadest of smiles crossed his face.

Medvedev said defeat was "tough to take", but he added: "I want to congratulate Rafa because what he did today, I was amazed.

"I tried just to play tennis, but after the match I asked him, 'Are you tired?'.

"It was insane. I think the level was very high. You raised your level after two sets for the 21st grand slam. I thought he was going to get tried, and maybe you did just a little bit, but you're an amazing champion."

Looking at the race between Nadal, Djokovic and Federer to finish with the most slams, Medvedev said: "I think you guys have a good rivalry still. It's not over yet, but congrats."

Both men thanked tournament director Craig Tiley, who was close to the centre of the pre-tournament storm that saw Djokovic deported from Australia.

And Medvedev spared a thought for wife Daria, watching from home.

"Usually there's my wife in the [players'] box," he said, "but I think probably the TV's broken right now."

Already shaping as the unlikeliest grand slam success of his illustrious career, Rafael Nadal ensured it was just that after an extraordinary Australian Open final.

And what a time to deliver it, clinching a record-breaking 21st major title by beating Daniil Medvedev, breaking his tie with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic for the most grand slams won by a man.

Nadal himself admitted reaching the final in Melbourne was unexpected, having ended his 2021 in August and doubted his career due to a persistent foot injury.

That injury is not going away, making the success even more remarkable. After five hours and 24 minutes on Rod Laver Arena, history was made as Nadal secured a 2-6 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-4 7-5 victory.

From two sets to love down against a man 10 years younger, wrapping up at 01:11 local time (14:11 GMT).

 

Nadal had only won the Australian Open once before, in 2009. Now, he is the only champion to have ever come from two sets to love down to win in an Australian Open final in the Open Era.

Not only was Nadal two sets to love down, he faced 0-40 in the sixth game of the third set. He was also staring down an in-form opponent as Medvedev aimed to become the first man to follow up his maiden major title with another grand slam at his next event. But, spurred on by a vocal and enthusiastic Rod Laver Arena crowd, Nadal found a way. He found another level, as he has throughout his career. In fairness, Medvedev took his game up a level, too, at least until some madness in the ninth game of the third set.

That concentration lapse had cost him one set, and Medvedev was unable to deal with an increasingly excited – and sometimes disrespectful – crowd in the fourth, as well as a surging Nadal.

As Sunday ticked into Monday with the deciding set underway, Nadal broke the Medvedev serve with a forehand winner down the line in the fifth game. Even the best get nervous, though, and he relinquished that advantage when serving for the title. Yet like a typical champion, Nadal responded instantly, breaking again before serving it out to love.

In sets one and two, Nadal had 21 winners and 36 unforced errors, turning that into 48 and 32 respectively in the final three.

For just the third time in his illustrious career, Nadal had completed a comeback from two sets to love down at a grand slam. And he has now won every grand slam at least twice, becoming just the second man in the Open Era to manage that, alongside Djokovic.

Such a moment had seemed unlikely just months ago, when Nadal and his team had doubts over whether he would ever return to the ATP Tour due to his foot injury.

Nadal says those doubts remain, but his start to 2022 suggests he is, as ever, a contender as long as he remains on the court. However unlikely, even if looking impossible, Nadal is still capable of the absurd.

Rafael Nadal made history in stunning fashion as he came from two sets down to beat Daniil Medvedev in the men's Australian Open final, sealing a record 21st grand slam title.

All the talk before the tournament had been about Novak Djokovic and whether the world number one would be able to compete to achieve the same feat, but it was Nadal who secured the historic victory at Rod Laver Arena, beating Medvedev 2-6 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-4 7-5 in a marathon five hours and 24 minutes.

It is only the second Australian Open title of Nadal's decorated career but puts him out ahead of Djokovic and Roger Federer (both 20) as the man to have won the most grand slams of all time.

He had looked down and out at times in the third set but showed typical determination to get better as the match went on, while Medvedev appeared to visibly tire as he saw his lead disappear into the night sky in Melbourne.

The first set began with Medvedev asking questions of Nadal, although initially the 35-year-old had answers with some classic forehand winners.

However, the unforced errors from the Spaniard began to pile up and he was broken to love in the fifth game. From there, Medvedev dominated the remainder of the opening set, breaking again and taking it 6-2.

It did not bode well for Nadal, who had won only three of his 10 prior major finals in which the opener had gone to his opponent.

The number six seed was struggling on his first serve, getting just 54 per cent in – his next lowest in a first set in this tournament had been 66 per cent in the second round win against Yannick Hanfmann.

Nadal showed some resilience, though, and hit a sensational winner at the end of a 40-shot rally in the fourth game of the second set, in which he ultimately broke Medvedev for the first time, only to be broken back to 4-3 as those serving struggles continued.

A back-and-forth affair saw four breaks of serve and the set ended with a tie-break, which Medvedev clinched with a backhand winner down the line to leave Nadal looking down the barrel of a defeat.

However, Nadal was not going to go down without a fight and showed some of his trademark grit in the third to stay with Medvedev, who was, if anything, playing even better than in the first two sets. Nadal had to save break points in the sixth game to eventually hold serve, before breaking in the ninth and serving out to somehow get back to within a set.

The drama did not stop in the fourth as two holds of serve were followed by three straight breaks to put Nadal 3-2 ahead. Both men were forced to save multiple break points thereafter, but Nadal successfully held serve to take it 6-4 and force a decider.

Medvedev looked to be wilting and was hanging on at the start of the fifth, before some superb Nadal winners earned a break in the fifth game.

The Russian made his opponent work hard for his victory and dramatically broke back to level when Nadal was serving for the championship, only for the veteran to break straight back before finally sealing the win and his place in the history books with a backhand volley that Medvedev could not return.

 

DATA SLAM: No Melbourne misery for Nadal

Nadal also becomes the second man in the Open Era – and only fourth in history – to win each grand slam at least twice, after Djokovic, Roy Emerson and Rod Laver.

Despite still boasting an impressive overall record in grand slam finals at 20-8 going into this match, Nadal was 1-4 in Australian Open finals. He looked sure to make that 1-5 after the first two sets but showed remarkable fortitude to turn things around.

This was Medvedev's second Australian Open final defeat having lost to Djokovic last year, and his second grand slam final defeat to Nadal after losing to him at the 2019 US Open.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Nadal – 69/68
Medvedev – 76/52

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Nadal – 3/5
Medvedev – 23/5

BREAK POINTS WON
Nadal – 7/22
Medvedev – 6/22

Rory McIlroy wasted a glorious opportunity to win a third Dubai Desert Classic title in a gripping conclusion that saw Viktor Hovland edge Richard Bland in a play-off.

After making steady progress up the leaderboard on Friday and Saturday, McIlroy had a share of the lead alongside Hovland and Bland heading into the final hole on Sunday.

But the four-time major winner, aiming to add to his 2009 and 2015 triumphs in Dubai, sent his approach shot from 267 yards way right on the 18th and it ended in the water.

McIlroy gave himself hope by chipping a shot within 15 feet of the hole to remain on course for par, but his stroke brushed the cup and left him 11-under for the tournament.

That put him a stroke behind Hovland and Bland, who carded a six-under 66 and four-under 68 for the day respectively to finish level and take the competition to an extra hole at the Emirates Golf Club.

Hovland finished strongly with two birdies and an eagle on the final three holes to set the clubhouse lead, which Bland matched with two birdies in a row to conclude his round.

It was Hovland who prevailed in the first play-off hole, the Norwegian rolling in a three-footer for par after Bland's bogey opened the door.

The 24-year-old has now won three of his last five events, having also prevailed at the Hero World Challenge and Mayakoba Golf Classic towards the end of 2021.

Hovland started the day six strokes behind overnight leader Justin Harding, who endured a poor final round, which included a triple-bogey on the 11th to finish in joint-fourth.

"This is pretty wild. I didn't really think this was possible going into today," Hovland said.

"I knew I had to shoot a really low number but a lot of things had to go my way and I am thankful that they did."

The Los Angeles Rams will need their linebackers to be at their best against the San Francisco 49ers, and will have a talented rookie at the position available for the NFC Championship Game.

Los Angeles activated Ernest Jones from injured reserve ahead of Sunday's meeting with the Niners at SoFi Stadium.

Jones has not played since suffering a high ankle sprain against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 16.

The Rams will be grateful for his return as they prepare to face a 49ers offense that consistently looks to torment linebackers and complete passes over the middle of the field.

San Francisco swept the regular-season series between the two teams, with the Niners winning the last six meetings with the Rams.

Third-round pick Jones impressed in the regular season, racking up 61 tackles, two interceptions and a sack.

In the regular season, Jones allowed a big play on just 10 per cent of targets, the fifth-best ratio among linebackers targeted at least 25 times.

Sergio Ramos has sustained another calf injury that casts early doubt on the Paris Saint-Germain centre-back being fit to face his former side Real Madrid in the Champions League.

The 35-year-old has been hampered by a series of niggling issues since arriving at PSG from Madrid, where he had spent the previous 16 seasons.

He played a part in PSG's last two matches, but a low-grade muscle problem suffered in training on Thursday could see the defender facing another spell on the sidelines.

PSG confirmed the news on their website on Sunday, with further tests planned for the middle of next week, and Mauricio Pochettino is unsure how long Ramos will miss.

"You never know with an injury. You have to follow the evolution. We don't know the duration of his unavailability," Pochettino said at a news conference.

Ligue 1 leaders PSG are set to host Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on February 15, before travelling to the Spanish capital three weeks later.

Ramos has played just five times for Pochettino's side in all competitions since arriving in July, totalling 284 minutes of action on the field.

The 15 LaLiga games Ramos started in 2020-21 was the fewest he managed in a campaign for Madrid and a big drop from the 35 games started the season before.

Indeed, he played just eight matches in all competitions at club level in 2021, while his last appearance for Spain was against Kosovo last March.

 

PSG will also be without forward Neymar and midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum for Monday's Coupe de France last-16 tie with Nice.

Wijnaldum is expected to return from an ankle sprain at the end of next week, while Neymar – who has not played since November – will be further assessed on Monday.

However, Pochettino can still call upon superstars Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi for the cup match.

Messi has had a chance to work on his fitness this week, having not been included in Argentina's latest squad after recently being struck down by coronavirus.

And ahead of the Nice match, Pochettino has been encouraged by what he has seen from compatriot Messi.

"We are very happy with what Leo has done in training this week," Pochettino said. "He has trained well. He is in good condition to start.

"For Kylian, it's a question of complicity. Their connection is starting to see each other. They are two very great footballers.

"It's been a good week of work. I'm happy because we were able to work on the tactics, not just the physical side. We hope that this work will be seen by the end of the season."

Rick Carlisle was moved to tears by a video tribute on his first return to the Dallas Mavericks, who he then backed for a big season under successor Jason Kidd.

Carlisle was Mavs coach for 13 years before resigning at the end of last season, with Kidd appointed in his place.

Kidd was a player under Carlisle when they won the only NBA title in franchise history back in 2011.

Carlisle is now coach of the Indiana Pacers and, after winning his first matchup with the Mavs in Indiana in December, he returned to Dallas on Saturday.

As his achievements with the Mavs were recognised, Carlisle said: "I was not expecting anything like that. It was a wonderful gesture, very much appreciated."

Mavs superstar Luka Doncic added: "I've been with him my first three years and learned a lot of things.

"He helped me in a way, too, so it was a special moment. The tribute was special to him. You could see it, and he deserves it."

Kidd said: "He helped all of us achieve that one goal that we play for, and that was to win a championship. He set the bar high for the next coach or coaches."

Kidd is now giving it his best shot, as his team were far less accommodating of Carlisle on the court, dominating in a 132-105 victory – led by Doncic's 30 points and 12 assists.

The Mavs are on a 13-3 run, coinciding with Doncic's return to form and fitness, and have the talent to trouble the leading teams in the Western Conference – although Kristaps Porzingis exited with knee soreness against Indiana.

Carlisle, who recommended Kidd for his role, said: "He's done a tremendous job.

"His history here, as a player who was drafted here, a Hall of Fame player on a championship team here, I know the kind of warrior he is when it comes to winning and how smart he is. They're a major threat in the West."

Manchester United are waiting to establish the facts before commenting further on allegations made against Mason Greenwood on social media.

The club said on Sunday they were "aware of images and allegations circulating" in relation to the England forward.

A statement released to Stats Perform read: "We are aware of images and allegations circulating on social media.

"We will not make any further comment until the facts have been established. Manchester United does not condone violence of any kind."

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