Frost has delayed the start of the 105th US PGA Championship, the year’s second major, at Oak Hill in Rochester.

Play had been scheduled to get under way at 7am local time (1200 BST), but predictions of an overnight frost proved accurate.

Tournament organisers released a statement early on Thursday morning which read: “Due to frost, all Oak Hill Country Club practice facilities and the golf course are currently closed.

“To protect playing surfaces, everyone on-site must stay off any grass and gates will not open until the frost clears.

“Starting times for round one will begin approximately 1hr and 15 minutes after practice facilities open.”

The possibility of weather delays had been on the cards since the US PGA was moved from August to May in 2019, with Oak Hill having already been selected as this year’s venue.

Speaking on Tuesday, the PGA of America’s chief championships officer Kerry Haigh said: “Wherever the championship is (in May) appears as though it will bring some more variety to the weather than we’re used to having when we played in August.

“There is the possibility of a frost again on Thursday morning. We had a frost Tuesday morning. We had a couple of frosts last week. That may delay the start. Hopefully it won’t. But if it does, we’ll adapt.

“We’ve got the chance of rain on Saturday and hopefully clear on Sunday. That’s sort of the fun of golf. It’s an outdoor game and we can’t wait to see what Mother Nature brings as well.”

Manchester City moved within three wins of the treble by thrashing Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final.

Pep Guardiola’s side need one victory from their three remaining Premier League fixtures to secure the title, while they can also win the FA Cup and Champions League by beating Manchester United and Inter Milan respectively.

City are seeking to emulate their local rivals United who achieved glory on the same three fronts under Sir Alex Ferguson in 1998-99.

Here the PA news agency compares the two sides.

Premier League

There are several parallels between this season’s title race and 1998-99.

Neither City nor United topped the table for a prolonged period until the second half of the campaign and both trailed Arsenal at various points during the run-in.

Mikel Arteta’s Gunners were eight points clear of Guardiola’s side with nine games to go at the beginning of April, while Arsenal were three points ahead of Ferguson’s men with two matches remaining in 1999 – although both City and United had a game in hand.

Just as United edged out Arsene Wenger’s team with a 20-match unbeaten run, City have gone 14 Premier League games without defeat to move within touching distance of claiming a fifth title in six years.

Statistically, Guardiola’s treble-chasers have had the better season. They have amassed 85 points and scored 92 goals with three fixtures still to play, while United ended the campaign with 79 points and 80 goals scored.

Dwight Yorke top-scored for Ferguson’s side with 18 goals, which is half as many as Erling Haaland has managed for City (36).

That said, Andy Cole (17) and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (12) also reached double figures for United, while only Phil Foden (10) has done so for City.

Defensively, Guardiola’s men have conceded 31 goals so far – the joint-fewest in the league alongside Newcastle. United shipped 37 goals in 1998-99, which was more than Arsenal (17), Chelsea (30) and Leeds (34).

Champions League

City topped their group ahead of Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla and Copenhagen, while United finished second behind Bayern Munich but ahead of Barcelona and Brondby.

Guardiola’s side have since gone on to beat RB Leipzig, Bayern and Real Madrid over two legs, thanks mainly to crushing home wins in each tie.

Ferguson’s men had fewer rounds to negotiate in 1999 – when the Champions League was contested by 24 teams rather than 32 – but they still had to get past Inter Milan and Juventus across two legs before facing Bayern in the final.

United’s European campaign was considerably bumpier than City’s, who have scored 31 goals and conceded only five on their path to the final.

The Red Devils – by contrast – lifted the trophy having scored 29 and conceded 16.

While City are yet to concede more than once in a Champions League game this season, United were involved in several high-scoring thrillers including a pair of 3-3 draws against Barcelona in the group stage and a dramatic 3-2 comeback win against Juventus in the semi-final second leg.

FA Cup

As with the Champions League, City’s route to the final has been largely serene while United’s 1998-99 campaign was filled with trials and tribulations.

Guardiola’s team have cruised past Chelsea, Arsenal, Bristol City, Burnley and Sheffield United without conceding a goal, becoming the first side to reach the final with a perfect defensive record since Everton in 1965-66.

Meanwhile, as well as coming back from a goal down against Middlesbrough and Liverpool in rounds three and four, United needed replays to see off Chelsea in the quarter-finals and Arsenal in the semis.

The latter victory was especially dramatic, with Peter Schmeichel saving a Dennis Bergkamp penalty to keep the game at 1-1 and Ryan Giggs scoring a fantastic solo goal in extra time.

Jimmy Butler was labelled as "one of a kind" after he led the Miami Heat to a shock win over the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.

The eighth-seeded Heat came into the series as big underdogs, while the Celtics were rated as favourites to claim this year’s NBA championship.

But despite facing a 71-59 deficit early in third quarter, Butler helped Miami to an improbable road 123-116 win.

The Heat scored a franchise playoff-record 46 points in the third quarter and outscored Boston 66-50 in the second half. 

Butler had 35 points and also recorded seven assists, six steals and five rebounds. He now has five games with at least 30 points this postseason and his play has filled his teammates with confidence. 

"When Jimmy's playing like that, we feel like we can play with anybody, beat anybody," Heat guard Gabe Vincent said after the game, per ESPN. 

"We got a couple guys in this locker room like that, but Jimmy's one of a kind."

"It's fun [to play with him], he is one of the best players in the world for a reason," added Kyle Lowry. "It's just a joy to watch it.

"For a guy that wants it so bad and works so hard at his craft, it's important to enjoy his success. He gives us all the confidence to be successful and be aggressive and be assertive.

"That's what makes him special, that it's not all about him. He's about our group and our team and everyone else."

For Butler, who is hoping to lead Miami to the NBA Finals for a second time, the trust he is shown by all areas of the franchise is proving key.

He said: "We know that Coach [Erik Spoelstra] puts so much confidence and belief in each and every one of us. Coach Pat [Riley] as well.

"Our circle is small, but the circle got so much love for one another. We pump constant confidence into everybody. 

"I'm playing at an incredible level because they are allowing me to do so. They are not putting a limit on my game. They are trusting me with the ball and on the defensive end. 

"I think that's what any basketball player wants. That's what anybody wants out of life is just to be wanted, be appreciated and just let you go out there and rock.

"I really feel as though with anything in life, if you get the opportunity and you have the belief that my teammates, my coaches, Coach Pat, ownership have in me to kind of lead the charge, along with Bam [Adebayo] right now, anything is possible.

"We go out there and we hoop and we play basketball the right way, knowing that we've always got a chance.

"We don't care if you pick us to win. We never have. We never will."

Adebayo supported Butler with 20 points and eight rebounds, while Lowry, Vincent, Caleb Martin and Max Strus all scored 15 points each.

Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 30 points but did not take a shot in the fourth quarter and Boston are now 4-4 at home in the playoffs ahead of Game 2 on Friday.

"I don’t know why," said Tatum. "You’ve still got to play the game, you've got to make plays, regardless of whether you’re home or away."

Marcus Smart, who had 13 points and a game-high 11 assists, added: "The only thing we need to adjust to is picking up our physicality and playing some damn defense.

"They didn't change anything from the first half that they weren't doing, they just upped their physicality and that's it. That's the only thing they switched. 

"There's nothing tactical, X's and O's, it's just come out and guard your yard. They scored 46 in that third, and they got going, and they made us pay, and they led into the fourth quarter."

Dual Breeders’ Cup winner Modern Games tops 13 contenders for Saturday’s Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.

Winner of the Juvenile Turf in 2021 and the Mile last term, Modern Games has also tasted Group One success in France and Canada, but will be shooting for a first British win at the highest level.

The John and Thady Gosden-trained Laurel is one of his main rivals at the Berkshire track, having finished a narrow second in the Sun Chariot last year and opened with an easy Listed verdict on Kempton’s all-weather surface last month.

My Prospero represents William Haggas and he will be having his first run since finishing third in the Champion Stakes at Ascot in the autumn.

Jadoomi finished third on his first attempt at Group One company in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and he returns for Simon and Ed Crisford, while Mutasaabeq arrives on the back of a fine front-running success in the bet365 Mile at Newmarket at the start of the month.

Light Infantry was third in that event for David Simcock and reopposes, as does William Knight’s fourth-placed Checkandchallenge.

Richard Hannon is double-handed with Chindit and Lusail, first and fourth in the Paradise Stakes at Ascot recently.

Berkshire Shadow, Jumby, Triple Time and The Wizard Of Eye complete the line up, with Angel Bleu and Cash the only horses not declared.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s trophy-laden reign at Manchester United was illuminated by his often fiery rhetoric.

From withering put-downs to sparkling praise, the Scot produced many an apposite phrase and created a catalogue of memorable quotes.

Ten years on from his final match at the helm (May 19, 2013), the PA news agency takes a look at some of the most notable.

On challenging times

“My greatest challenge is not what’s happening at the moment, my greatest challenge was knocking Liverpool right off their f***ing perch. And you can print that.”

On Manchester City’s emergence as a Premier League force

“There has been a lot of expectation on Manchester City and, with the spending they have done, they have to win something. Sometimes you have a noisy neighbour and have to live with it. You can’t do anything about them.”

On Jose Mourinho

“He was certainly full of it, calling me ‘Boss’ and ‘Big Man’ when we had our post-match drink after the first leg. But it would help if his greetings were accompanied by a decent glass of wine. What he gave me was paint-stripper.”

On Arsene Wenger

“They say he’s an intelligent man, right? Speaks five languages. I’ve got a 15-year-old boy from the Ivory Coast who speaks five languages!”

On Rafael Benitez

“I think he is very concerned about his CV. He refers to it quite a lot.”

On his bust-up with Newcastle boss Alan Pardew

“The press have had a field day. The only person they have not spoken to is Barack Obama because he is busy.”

On the incident which saw former midfielder David Beckham struck on the head by a flying boot

“It was a freakish incident. If I tried it 100 or a million times it couldn’t happen again. If I could I would have carried on playing!”

On the mind games employed by Italian teams

“When an Italian tells me it’s pasta on the plate, I check under the sauce to make sure. They are the inventors of the smokescreen.”

On seeing Ryan Giggs as a schoolboy

“I remember the first time I saw him. He was 13 and just floated over the ground like a cocker spaniel chasing a piece of silver paper in the wind.”

On Wayne Rooney’s decision to sign a new contract

“Sometimes you look in a field and you see a cow and you think it’s a better cow than the one you’ve got in the field.”

On Real Madrid’s hopes of signing Cristiano Ronaldo

“Do you think I would get into a contract with that mob? Jesus Christ, no chance. I wouldn’t sell them a virus.”

On United’s dramatic Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich in 1999

“Football, bloody hell.”

On retirement

“The decision to retire is one that I have thought a great deal about and one that I have not taken lightly. It is the right time.”

On handling star players

“Superstars with egos are not the problem some people may think. They need to be winners, because that massages their egos, so they will do what it takes to win. I used to see Ronaldo, Beckham, Giggs, Scholes… practising for hours. They realised that being a Manchester United player is not an easy job.”

On his football philosophy

“Fear has to come into it. But you can be too hard; if players are fearful all the time, they won’t perform well. You play different roles at different times. Sometimes you have to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a father.”

On his supposed influence with referees

“This is a guy who has the worst record of any manager in the history of English football, fined £100,000 by them, suspended so many times. That’s some influence, I must say. It’s a little bit Walter Mitty.”

On the England manager’s job

“I don’t think the manager’s job with England is a good one. I think it’s a horrible job.”

On turning down the England job

“It took me about 10 seconds to say ‘No way’. I couldn’t manage England in a million years. Think of me going back to Scotland doing that.”

On David Beckham’s celebrity

“David is the only player I managed who chose to be famous. He thought he was bigger than Alex Ferguson.”

On his recovery from a brain haemorrhage

“I knew I was alive but, on my own, I started thinking, ‘I wonder if they’re telling me the truth?’ The operation was a success, but you’re in that loneliness. It can be frightening.”

Friday marks the 10th anniversary of Sir Alex Ferguson’s last game as Manchester United manager, with the club still searching for a return to their glory days under the long-serving Scot.

Here, the PA news agency compares those years to the last decade of Ferguson’s triumphant reign.

Ferguson’s last 10 years

United won the Premier League in five of Ferguson’s last 10 years in charge, taking his total to 13 titles overall.

That included a run of three in a row from 2006-07 to 2008-09, before he added the 2010-11 title and signed off in 2012-13 with another.

They never finished outside the top three in that time, with an average league position of 1.7, and averaged 84.4 points per campaign.

His sides won 68 per cent of their league games and 66 per cent overall as they also collected three League Cups, an FA Cup and the 2007-08 Champions League title. Their 10 major trophies were supplemented by the 2008 Club World Cup and five Community Shields.

They scored an average of 1.94 goals per game and had a goal difference of +632 across their 578 games in all competitions.

The decade since

United have been through five permanent managers in the years since Ferguson’s departure, in addition to last season’s interim boss Ralf Rangnick and caretakers Ryan Giggs and Michael Carrick.

Ferguson’s anointed successor David Moyes did not even make it through the first season of his six-year contract while Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also failed to bring sustained success.

Current boss Erik ten Hag has impressed in his first season in the role and offers hope the club are turning the corner, but their statistics in the last 10 years stand in stark contrast to Ferguson’s record.

Most glaring is the lack of a league title, with local rivals Manchester City instead chasing a sixth win in those 10 years, Chelsea winning two and one each for Leicester and Liverpool.

Mourinho’s 2016-17 season is the high water mark, with United winning both the League Cup and the Europa League. Ten Hag has already matched the former and will have the chance against City next month to emulate the FA Cup won in 2016 in fellow Dutchman Van Gaal’s last match in charge.

Even a pair of Community Shields can only lift the trophy count ahead of that final to six, and the club’s league record paints a similar picture.

They have gone from constantly battling for the title under Ferguson, and winning it half of the time, to a similar record in the battle simply to qualify for the Champions League.

Should Ten Hag’s side hold on to their top-four spot this season that will be five in 10 years, with an average position of 4.5 after finishing second twice, sixth on three occasions and once each in third, the fourth place they again occupy this season, fifth and seventh.

They have averaged 68.2 points over the nine completed seasons, 16 fewer than in Ferguson’s last decade. With 66 this season and three games remaining, they are at least on course to improve on that mark.

They have won 52 per cent of league games, rising to 55 per cent across all competitions, scored 1.68 goals per game and have a goal difference of +381 in 559 games.

Jimmy Butler scored 23 of his 35 points after halftime and the Miami Heat used a dominant third quarter to beat the Boston Celtics 123-116 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday.

Miami faced a 71-59 deficit early in the third quarter before using a 17-4 run to take a 76-75 lead.

Butler scored nine straight points for the Heat, capped by a 3-pointer with 1:56 left in the quarter to make it 95-87.

Malcolm Brogdon's free throw with 2:31 to play pulled Boston within 114-110 but Caleb Martin and Butler made consecutive threes to extend the lead to 120-110 with under a minute left.

Miami, which has opened all three playoff series with road victories, scored a franchise playoff-record 46 points in the third quarter and outscored Boston 66-50 after halftime.

Bam Adebayo had 20 points and eight rebounds, while Kyle Lowry, Martin, Gabe Vincent and Max Strus each scored 15 points, with three 3-pointers apiece as part of the Heat's 16-for-31 effort from long range.

Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 30 points but didn't take a shot in the fourth quarter. Brown finished with 22 points and nine boards and Brogdon added 19 points.

Game 2 is Friday in Boston.

Liverpool lost to Sevilla in the Europa League final on this day in 2016 as Jurgen Klopp’s hopes of a first trophy on Merseyside were ended.

Daniel Sturridge fired Liverpool ahead on 35 minutes in Basle but the Spanish outfit rallied after the break to win 3-1 and secure a third successive triumph in the competition.

Kevin Gameiro began the fightback just 17 seconds into the second half before a double from Coke completed the turnaround for Unai Emery’s team.

Liverpool had strong claims for a penalty turned down in the first period after Daniel Carrico appeared to handle as Roberto Firmino attempted to take the ball past him.

They went in front when Sturridge flicked a fine shot beyond David Soria with the outside of his left boot.

Sevilla found a way back into the game from the restart after a ball into the box was cleared only as far as Mariano Ferreira and he squared for Gameiro to tap in.

Liverpool never regained the momentum and Coke punished them when he steered in from the edge of the area on 64 minutes.

Coke grabbed his side’s third just six minutes later, driving in from close range after the ball came to him via a deflection. Liverpool appealed for offside but to no avail.

The result meant the Reds not only missed out on a return to the Champions League but failed to qualify for European football at all from Klopp’s first campaign in charge.

Liverpool finished eighth in the Premier League that season, below Southampton and West Ham, and 21 points behind champions Leicester.

Yet, having also reached the Carabao Cup final, there had been clear signs of progress under the German, who had succeeded Brendan Rodgers the previous October.

They went on to finish fourth and qualify for the Champions League the following year.

They then reached the final of Europe’s top competition in 2018 and won it in 2019 before claiming a first Premier League title the following season.

Recent history was against Rory McIlroy as he tried to bounce back from his dispiriting performance in the Masters in the 105th US PGA Championship at Oak Hill.

The last seven men’s majors have been won by players in their 20s, a streak beginning with Jon Rahm’s victory in the 2021 US Open and extended by the Spaniard’s triumph at Augusta National last month.

McIlroy, who missed the cut in the Masters after a second round of 77, turned 34 earlier this month and even the prospect of playing a major at a course where he is a member has seemingly done little to raise his spirits.

“It’s not as if I have a ton of local knowledge here compared to everyone else,” said McIlroy, whose wife Erica is from Rochester.

“The last two days are the most I’ve really seen of this golf course over the last couple of years.”

McIlroy was due to be among the early starters on Thursday alongside defending champion Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa, with many of the pre-tournament favourites getting their campaigns under way from the 10th.

Jordan Spieth, who needs to win the US PGA to complete a career grand slam, looked set to overcome a wrist injury to compete at Oak Hill, where Jason Dufner won his sole major title in 2013.

“It’s not fun if you don’t think you’ve got a chance to win,” Spieth said after a nine-hole practice round on Wednesday.

“(But) if I felt like I was limited in a way that would affect my chances then there’d be no reason for me to feel like playing, because then I could further damage it and that’s not worth it.”

Is there anything new for 2023?

Architect Andrew Green has overseen an extensive renovation of the East Course since it last hosted the US PGA in 2013, with the aim being to better reflect the original Donald Ross design. All of the greens and bunkers have been rebuilt and hundreds of trees removed. The old sixth hole has been replaced by a shorter par three which now slots in as the fifth, with the fifth becoming the sixth hole on the card and lengthened to 504 yards. The par-three 15th also has an entirely different green that has been repositioned and is no longer guarded by a pond.

Key tee times (all BST)

1300 – Scottie Scheffler, Brooks Koepka, Gary Woodland
1311 – Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa
1322 – Shane Lowry, Jordan Spieth, Viktor Hovland
1333 – Matt Fitzpatrick, Cameron Smith, Jon Rahm

Weather forecast

Widespread frost is likely on Thursday morning before temperatures begin to moderate during the afternoon with highs reaching the mid-60s. Much warmer temperatures can be expected on Friday ahead of an approaching cold front and upper-level low pressure system that will move through the region on Saturday.

Manchester City are celebrating a return to the Champions League final after crushing holders Real Madrid with one of the greatest performances in the club’s history.

Pep Guardiola’s treble-chasing side overwhelmed the 14-time European champions 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, booking their place in next month’s Istanbul showpiece 5-1 on aggregate.

Victory was as convincing as the scoreline suggests with Madrid struggling to live with the pace and power of City and grateful to goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for preventing an even bigger landslide.

Bernardo Silva set City on their way to a final date against Inter Milan with two first-half goals before Eder Militao turned into his own net and Julian Alvarez added a late fourth.

City will now hope to lift the trophy and make amends for their loss in the 2021 final as part of what could be a glorious treble.

The first of those trophies could come on Sunday if they beat Chelsea to clinch the Premier League with the FA Cup final against Manchester United on June 3.

City manager Guardiola said: “In the Premier League we are close, we know we need one more game.

“We play against our neighbours and against an Italian team in the finals. The season is really, really good. Now we have to lift it. We are close and of course we are going to try.”

Last week’s semi-final first leg against Madrid in the Bernabeu Stadium had been an even contest.

City dominated possession for large spells but Real were more incisive on the counter-attack.

This time City refused to allow their opponents to sit back and feel comfortable soaking up pressure. They were far more dynamic and the Spanish giants could not handle their speed and movement.

The resounding win made for sweet revenge for City’s heartbreaking loss to Real and the same stage last season.

Guardiola said: “It was really tough losing the way we lost. In that moment we had to swallow poison but football and sport always gives you another chance.

“When the draw was Madrid, I said, ‘yeah I want it’.

“Everything was there – the energy we had from a year of being criticised as players for not having character when we lost.”

Carlo Ancelotti, coach of the dethroned champions, could not begrudge City their victory.

“I think that Manchester City deserved to win because they played better than us,” the Italian said.

Scientists are hoping to move a step closer to cracking the concussion code for female athletes before the end of the year.

Marker Diagnostics has developed a tool which can identify the “unique signature” for concussion in a male player’s saliva.

In 2021, a University of Birmingham study found the tool was able to accurately predict the outcome of 94 per cent of head injury assessments (HIAs) conducted on elite male rugby players.

Marker researchers are now working to establish whether the same test can also accurately and objectively diagnose concussion in female players, or if a female-specific test is required.

Testing has been going on in the English women’s top flight since 2018, at the Women’s World Cup and the Farah Palmer Cup in New Zealand last year and at the TikTok Six Nations last year and this year.

The study, jointly funded by World Rugby and Marker, is set to continue in the English elite game and in this summer’s Farah Palmer Cup, and potentially in other women’s competitions where HIAs are conducted.

All players who consent to participate are given a ‘baseline’ saliva swab and fill out a health questionnaire prior to competing. They are then retested if they undergo an HIA at any point during competition.

These tests are taken at each stage of the HIA – immediately after an impact during a match, immediately after the match and between 36 and 48 hours after the match.

Patrick O’Halloran, a senior medical adviser at Marker, told the PA news agency: “We’ve seen differences between men and women at baseline, the thing we should be able to uncover by the end of this year will be whether concussion expression is different in women or is it just diagnosed differently, and what happens after that concussion.

“It could be ‘OK, men and women look a bit different on the basis of these markers, but actually those differences are proportional and after a concussion, the test is still positive when we expect it to be.

“Or actually it could be that you need a different panel of biomarkers in women altogether.”

Asked why this study is so important, O’Halloran added: “This is a group of athletes playing at a unique time, when women’s sport is really exploding in terms of its popularity.

“The opportunities for women’s sports at the moment are really, really huge. Unfortunately, at the same time, there isn’t the same resource in women’s sport as there is in men’s. But women still get concussed.

“Medics in women’s sports still have that challenge of trying to objectively diagnose concussion in female athletes. So putting something in place that can bridge that gap in resource is going to be really powerful as women’s sport continues to expand and develop.

“This is providing additional information, unique information that wasn’t available before to make players safer.

“That’s what everyone wants – players, players’ representatives, coaches want more clarity and objectivity, and what leagues want is a more consistent standard of care and a consistency and objectivity to that too.

“What we’re looking for is that signature that is unique to concussion to enable medically informed treatment.”

Published research suggests female athletes suffer a higher rate of concussion, which may be accompanied by a wider range of more severe and prolonged symptoms compared to their male counterparts.

Dr Valentina Di Pietro, from the University of Birmingham, said: “Concussion can be difficult to diagnose, particularly in settings such as grassroots sports where evaluation by a specialist clinician is not possible.

“Consequently, some concussions may go undiagnosed. A non-invasive and accurate diagnostic test using saliva is a real game-changer and will provide an invaluable tool to help doctors diagnose concussions more consistently and accurately.”

British rider Tao Geoghegan Hart suffered a hip fracture and will need surgery after being involved in a crash during stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia.

The Ineos Grenadiers racer, the 2020 champion, was involved in a multi-bike accident in wet conditions on a downhill descent with around 70km of the race’s longest leg remaining.

Geoghegan Hart, who sat third in the overall standings, was pictured being loaded into an ambulance after receiving roadside treatment.

After being taken to hospital for more examinations, the Ineos Grenadiers team confirmed Geoghegan Hart was set for an extended spell of recovery.

“Immediately following his involvement in a crash during today’s Stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia, Tao Geoghegan Hart was transported to a local hospital in Genoa,” an Ineos Grenadiers statement said.

“After further assessment, imaging confirmed that Tao had sustained a fracture of the left hip which will require surgery.

“Tao, the thoughts and best wishes of all your fellow Grenadiers are with you tonight. We wish you a speedy recovery and know you have what it takes to come back even stronger!”

Team-mate and overall race leader Geraint Thomas was also involved in the incident, but was able to continue along with nearest challenger Primoz Roglic.

Thomas said after the race: “As usual we were jostling for position, a UAE guy crashed next to me. I don’t know exactly who was taken out after me.

“We were pretty much on the same spot. Unfortunately Tao is badly injured. It’s obviously a big loss.

“He was going very well. He was in a really great position and it’s very unfortunate to lose him this way.”

Thomas retained the pink jersey for overall race leader with a two-second lead over Jumbo-Visma’s Roglic.

Pascal Ackermann, riding for UAE Team Emirates, claimed the stage 11 victory after triumphing courtesy of a photo finish in Tortona, crossing the line just ahead of Jonathan Milan.

This year’s race has been beset with problems as poor weather has been accompanied by a coronavirus outbreak, which has now seen 13 riders withdraw.

Soudal Quick-Step riders Jan Hirt, Josef Cerny, Louis Vervaeke and Mattia Cattaneo were the latest to pull out on Wednesday.

Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey is interested in having James Harden back in a Sixers uniform.

The former league MVP, however, reportedly is planning to decline his player option and become an unrestricted free agent.

Morey spoke to the media on Wednesday, one day after the team fired Doc Rivers as coach, and said Harden could return.

“We are interested in bringing him back,” Morey said.

Harden has a $35.6million player option for the 2023-24 season, and the 76ers can offer the 2017-18 league MVP a $210million, four-year deal - $8million more than any other team.

However, Harden intends to move on from the 76ers and become a free agent, according to Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report.

“We have to plan for every scenario,” Morey said. “He has the option to be a free agent, and so we have to plan for all those scenarios. We feel like (Harden leaving) is a scenario where we can continue to move forward.”

Acquired in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets in February 2022, Harden was a solid complement to league MVP Joel Embiid, averaging 21.0 points and 10.7 assists in the regular season to help the 76ers to the third-best record in the Eastern Conference.

In the playoffs, however, the 33-year-old Harden was maddeningly inconsistent.

He had a pair of 40-point performances but averaged just 15.1 points on 30.0 per cent shooting with 8.4 assists in his other nine games.

The 10-time All-Star reportedly wants a four-year deal with a team that has a competitive roster.

Morey feels that the 76ers have that competitive roster that Harden desires.

“Look, we have to remember there’s like 26 teams that would rather have our roster,” he said.

“We’re starting with the MVP of the league. The draft lottery yesterday was hoping to get a top pick to hope that player becomes as good as the MVP of the league.

"So we’re starting in a great spot and yeah, we have a lot of free agents, so we’re going to lose some free agents. There’s some key ones we’d like to bring back. But we feel good about the alternate scenarios as well.

“Scenario A would be to bring James back. Scenario B, if he’s not back, will be we’ll have to get creative. And we feel good about the tools available to us if that happens.”

Bernardo Silva struck twice in the first half as Manchester City produced a sensational performance to dethrone holders Real Madrid and reach the Champions League final.

Eder Militao also turned into his own net and Julian Alvarez added another late on as City claimed a comprehensive 4-0 win at the Etihad Stadium to power into next month’s Istanbul showpiece 5-1 on aggregate.

City’s victory was every bit as comprehensive as the scoreline suggests with the 14-time European champions struggling to live with the pace and movement of Pep Guardiola’s mesmeric side.

Toni Kroos did hit the woodwork at 1-0 but it was a rare bright moment from a Real team that was simply overwhelmed.

It was sweet revenge for City after defeat at the same stage last season and the upcoming final against Inter Milan could now be the crowning glory of a magnificent treble.

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