Manuel Neuer and Leon Goretzka are back in training with Bayern Munich after the pair were forced to withdraw from Germany duty with COVID-19.

The duo were named in Hansi Flick's squad for the final two Nations League group games against Hungary and England, but were ruled out after testing positive for coronavirus.

However, Bayern goalkeeper Neuer and midfielder Goretzka were back on the training field on Tuesday. 

Benjamin Pavard, Dayot Upamecano, Matthijs de Ligt, Ryan Gravenberch, Marcel Sabitzer and Josip Stanisic have all also returned to the fold for Julian Nagelsmann's side.

In Neuer and Goretzka's absence, Germany slipped to their first defeat since Flick took charge with a 1-0 loss to Hungary, before playing out a 3-3 draw with England at Wembley on Monday.

Champions Bayern will go in pursuit of a first Bundesliga win in five games when they resume domestic action against Bayer Leverkusen on Friday.

Fit-again captain Temba Bavuma is not interested in "sideshows" as he prepares to lead South Africa in a three-match Twenty20 International series against India.

Bavuma has not played for his country since suffering an elbow injury during a T20I series in India three months ago which ended 2-2.

The batter has since spoken of feeling "let down" after he was not selected for the inaugural SA20 auction this month.

Questions have been asked over Bavuma's credentials in the shortest format less than a month before the T20 World Cup in Australia begins.

The Proteas skipper is ignoring such "distractions" ahead of the opening T20I against the top-ranked side in the world at Greenfield Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.

He said: "I've tried to put all those things behind me. My biggest focus is on the role that I have, which is to lead and serve the team as best as I can, make sure that the guys are in the best place possible going into that big World Cup tournament.

"All other distractions, all other sideshows, that's stuff that I'll deal with on a personal level, but now, here, being within the team, as long as I'm still wearing that shirt, it will be to lead and serve the team as best as I can."

Bavuma added: "This is our last series before the World Cup. Obviously we will be looking for this series to fill whatever gaps we feel there are in the team. We have guys who have been playing a lot of cricket and I guess we will be managing their intensity.

"We also have guys who need some cricket under their belts. It will be to give those guys some game time because this is our last preparation in different conditions compared to Australia but still match time nevertheless.

"The last time we were here, we were tested in all departments of our game and I think we answered well."

South Africa have beaten England and Ireland since drawing with India, who come into this series on the back of a 2-1 triumph over Australia.

The two sides will also meet in Group 2 at the World Cup in Perth on October 30.

 

Kohli to reach another landmark

Virat Kohli finally ended his long wait for an international hundred against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup this month.

The former skipper is set to bring up another century, as his next T20I innings will be his 100th. Kohli will be only the 10th player to be at the crease 100 times in the shortest format on the international stage.

Kohli has scored 3,660 runs from 99 innings, 684 more than the next best aggregate for any batter in their first 100 innings in men's T20Is (Martin Guptill – 2,976 runs).

Proteas enjoying life on the road

South Africa have won each of their past four completed T20I games away from home.

The Proteas have been victorious six times on tour in 2022. Only in 2021, when they won 14 times away from home, have they bettered that tally in a calendar year.

Hector Bellerin has suffered a calf strain in training as Barcelona's injury problems continue to mount.

Barca had largely been able to select from a full squad during the early weeks of the season, but the past week has given head coach Xavi plenty of fitness concerns to contend with.

Bellerin is the latest to sustain an issue, with the right-back suffering difficulties with his calf during a training session on Tuesday.

A club statement said Bellerin is to "undergo a series of tests to determine the full extent of the trouble", though it would be reasonable to assume he is a doubt for Saturday's trip to Mallorca.

He is the third Barca defender to suffer an injury in the past week, with Jules Kounde out until mid-October with an Achilles problem and Ronald Araujo not expected to play again until after the World Cup following thigh surgery.

Also sidelined are Frenkie de Jong and Memphis Depay, who were injured on international duty with the Netherlands.

Barca's injury problems are mounting at a particularly inopportune moment given how hectic October promises to be.

Next month, Barca will face Inter twice and Bayern Munich again in the Champions League, while they have El Clasico and potentially tricky clashes with Villarreal, Athletic Bilbao and Valencia all in LaLiga.

Yoshihito Nishioka knocked fifth seed Dan Evans out of the Korea Open with a straight-sets victory on Tuesday.

Nishioka moved into the second round in Seoul with a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) defeat of the Briton.

The world number 56 from Japan will face Taro Daniel or Emilio Gomez in round two after winning 70 per cent of points on his first serve and breaking Evans four times.

Jenson Brooksby was forced to go the distance, but delivered a final-set bagel as the eighth seed saw off Wu Tung-lin 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 6-0.

Qualifier Nicolas Jarry will take on top seed Casper Ruud after defeating Ryan Peniston 6-3 7-6 (10-8), while American duo Mackenzie McDonald and Steve Johnson also advanced.

Tseng Chun-hsin progressed with Chris O'Connell retired with an injury after losing the first set before Kwon Soon-woo beat Yunseong Chung in an all-South Korean contest.

Luke Shaw had no grievances about being dropped by Manchester United in August, even agreeing that Erik ten Hag needed to change something.

Shaw started United's first two Premier League games of the season, defeats to Brighton and Hove Albion and then Brentford.

The 4-0 loss to Brentford meant United finished a day bottom of the Premier League table for the first time in 30 years – 1992 was also the last time United had begun a league season with back-to-back defeats.

Shaw and Harry Maguire were the ones to pay the heaviest price. Neither has started any of the four league games since, all of which United won, while the left-back has not played a single minute in those games.

Despite a lack of action, both players featured for England during their two Nations League games in the past week and Shaw is hopeful of playing more regularly for United ahead of the World Cup, even if he accepts being dropped for Tyrell Malacia was not hugely surprising.

Asked by talkSPORT about playing more before Qatar 2022, Shaw said: "That's what everyone wants.

"I think Ten Hag, the boss, he knows my qualities, he knows what I'm capable of and we've had chats.

"It's understandable that – and I even agree – the start of the season wasn't good enough and he had to make changes. And I fully accept that, I accepted it.

"The only thing I can do is train hard and wait for my opportunities, whether that's in the cup games or the Premier League.

"Whatever I play in, I just have to be ready and play at the standard I should be at."

Shaw scored in England's 3-3 draw with Germany on Monday, a result that did little to ease the pressure on manager Gareth Southgate.

England's loss to Italy three days earlier confirmed their relegation from the top tier of the Nations League, but Shaw thinks the criticism of Southgate is unfair given what he has achieved in the job until now.

"You look at the results of the last two major tournaments and it's bizarre how people can attack him and say it's not good enough," Shaw added.

"At the moment we haven't won, we have to win a major tournament to be extremely successful, but we're heading in the right direction and he's guiding us in the right direction.

"From when he first came in, you've seen the difference in the England team to where we are now but of course the results recently haven't been good enough. We'll be ready in the World Cup."

England captain Harry Kane was "proud" of Harry Maguire for playing through injury towards the end of Monday's draw with Germany despite it being a nightmare match for the defender.

Centre-back Maguire has become a much-maligned figure at Manchester United, with his performances routinely called into question over the past 12 months or so.

That ultimately led to him being dropped by new manager Erik ten Hag in August after United lost their first two games of the new Premier League season – he has not started since in the top flight and the Red Devils have won four matches on the bounce.

England manager Gareth Southgate backed Maguire at the start of this international window, suggesting he would stake his reputation on the defender's selection before starting him in both Nations League games despite previous vows to pick players on form.

Serie A-winning Milan defender Fikayo Tomori was left out of the squad entirely on Monday while Maguire went on to endure a nightmare, with his individual errors contributing to England finding themselves 2-0 down.

England remarkably fought back to go 3-2 up with three goals in 12 minutes before Kai Havertz's second rescued a point for Germany, and while the focus was already on Maguire – who was later spotted limping through the mixed zone – Kane praised his character.

"Any individual mistake, you're going to be gutted. But we are a team, we will get behind each other," Kane said.

"They [Maguire and goalkeeper Nick Pope] will learn from [their errors] and they'll move on. They have been great for us every time they put the shirt on.

"H [Maguire] had a pretty decent injury there at the end, where he played another five, 10 minutes, on almost one leg.

"Great character from him [to keep playing], I'm really proud of him for that."

After the match, Maguire said sorry to supporters on Instagram following his errors.

The first was a poor pass out from the back that was intercepted by Jamal Musiala, whom he then clumsily fouled in the area. Ilkay Gundogan scored the penalty.

For the second goal, Maguire was robbed of possession – again, Musiala was his nemesis here – up the pitch and Germany sprung a rapid counter-attack that was rounded off by a gorgeous Havertz finish.

"Mistakes are part of the game, I apologise," Maguire wrote.

"Great fightback and spirit to get us back into the game by the lads. Take the positives and look forward to Qatar. The tough times will make us stronger."

Tite has revealed Barcelona asked Brazil to be careful with Raphinha after losing four players to injury during the international break.

Jules Kounde, Ronald Araujo, Frenkie De Jong and Memphis Depay have sustained injuries while they have been away playing for their countries.

Raphinha played 80 minutes of Brazil's 3-0 friendly win over Ghana on Friday and could face Tunisia on Tuesday.

Selecao head coach Tite says Barca requested that the winger's workload is managed.

He said: "In order for there to be maximum transparency, I tell you that today the Barcelona coaching staff spoke to our physical trainer and asked us to be careful of Raphinha.

"They have lost Araujo and for this reason they are worried. They asked us how the player is, if he is training well.

"The calendar of the big clubs is very congested and this worries us because until we meet for the World Cup, the players will play two games a week."

Raphinha has started four of the Blaugrana's six LaLiga matches this season following his big-money move from Leeds United and was on the field for just over an hour in a Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich.

 

A first MotoGP in Kazakhstan will be staged next year after a five-year deal was agreed.

It was confirmed on Tuesday that the new Sokol International Racetrack will stage the race from 2023.

The circuit is just outside Kazakhstan's largest city Almaty and will be the 74th venue to host a race in the premier class.

A MotoGP statement said: "The region will be a new pitstop for MotoGP as the sport continues to expand around the world, engaging with new markets and fanbases.

"Kazakhstan will also become the 30th country to host a motorcycle Grand Prix since 1949, a perfect landmark number to celebrate the ever-expanding history of the world's first motorsport World Championship, and Sokol International Racetrack will be the 74th venue to host a premier class Grand Prix."

Zhou Guanyu has kept his Alfa Romeo seat for the 2023 Formula One season.

The 23-year-old made history when he became the first full-time Formula One driver from China this season and scored a point on his debut in Bahrain.

Zhou has gone on to pick up a further five points in his maiden campaign and he will remain Valtteri Bottas' team-mate next year.

"I am looking forward to continuing working with Zhou," Alfa Romeo boss Fred Vasseur said on Tuesday.

"From day one with the team, at the Abu Dhabi test last year, he has impressed me with his approach to work and this is always a very positive trait. We knew he was quick, but the way he adapted to Formula One in such a short time has been one of the best surprises of our season.

"He is a very nice guy, everyone in the team likes both his personality and attitude. He has had the humility to ask questions and learn, from the engineers as well as Valtteri, and the intelligence to apply all the information he got to improve race after race.

"He will have this experience to draw on next season, and I am sure he will make another step forward as we continue to grow our team."

Zhou expressed his gratitude for the faith Alfa Romeo have put in him.

He said: "I am happy and grateful to Alfa Romeo F1 Team for the opportunity to be part of the team for another season.

"Making it to Formula One was a dream come true and the feeling of competing for the first time in a race will live with me forever: the team has been incredibly supportive, welcoming me from day one and helping me adapt to the most complex series in motorsport.

"There is more that I want to achieve in this sport and with the team, and the hard work we have put together since the start of the year is just the first step towards where we want to be next season.

"There is still a lot to learn, a lot to develop but I am confident in our work: I am looking forward to the next chapter of our story together."

Marcus Rashford is reaping the benefits of getting "back to basics" this season, according to Manchester United legend Andrew Cole.

England forward Rashford endured a desperately disappointing 2021-22 campaign for the Red Devils, in which he scored only five times in 32 matches across all competitions as United finished sixth in the Premier League.

This term, Rashford already has three in six – scoring once in the 2-1 win over Liverpool and celebrating a brace in a 3-1 triumph against Arsenal.

While his improvement in form failed to yield an England recall for the Nations League matches against Italy and Germany, Cole – who won five Premier League titles and was part of the famous treble-winning team of the 1998-99 season – is happy to see Rashford back among the goals.

"It's nice to see [Rashford doing well]," Cole told United's official website. "He's got the confidence back, [and] scoring goals. I think he'll be really happy with that.

"If he can propel Manchester United forward this season, gets us into – I'm not sure what position we are going to end up in exactly, but if we can finish in the top four, it'll be good.

"It's the first time we've seen Marcus run in behind and stretch teams since he first got into the first team. 

"I think he went away from his strengths [last season], which was stretching teams.

"If you look at how he's playing now to when he first got into the team, people will turn around and say, 'that's the Marcus Rashford of old.'

"If he sticks to that, he'll score goals."

Cole is confident Rashford will also earn a call-up to England's World Cup squad in Qatar if he can continue his good form.

"You'd believe that [he can play for England in Qatar this year]," he added. "But I think the only person you can ask about the World Cup squad is [Gareth Southgate].

"Your bread and butter is always your club football, and if you do well for them, you've always got a chance."

FIBA has launched an investigation into a fight between Mali players following their Women's Basketball World Cup defeat to Serbia on Monday.

Tempers flared as Mali team-mates clashed in the mixed zone after they were beaten 81-68 at Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre.

Basketball's world governing body on Tuesday confirmed it was looking into the unsavoury scenes.

"FIBA acknowledged today that there was an altercation between Mali players in the mixed zone following the Group B game Serbia-Mali at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022," a FIBA statement said.

"Following the incident, FIBA has opened an investigation. Once the investigation is concluded, FIBA will decide on any applicable disciplinary measures."

Mali are bottom of their group after losing all five matches.

Hansi Flick warned his Germany side individual errors will be "deadly" at the World Cup after an entertaining back-and-forth Nations League encounter against England at Wembley.

The visitors led by two goals after Ilkay Gundogan's penalty and Kai Havertz's expert long-range finish punished the Three Lions.

However, three goals in the space of 12 minutes from Luke Shaw, Mason Mount and Harry Kane had already-relegated England in front with seven minutes to play.

An error from goalkeeper Nick Pope allowed Havertz to make it 3-3 late on, but head coach Flick acknowledged Germany must be better at protecting a lead in Qatar.

"The result is very disappointing. I think we were very stable after 2-0 and we made individual mistakes, and you have to say that England brought in two fresh players who then also played a part in making England more effective offensively," Flick said.

"We made individual mistakes and that's why it's disappointing. 

"You have to look at the whole game and I think we did many things well, really well. In a phase where we got the three goals, that shouldn't happen to us, because especially at a World Cup, things like that are of course deadly and you're eliminated faster than you think. 

"Therefore, if you look at it positively, you simply have to say that we know what we can work on. 

"We'll analyse the game properly again because, of course, at first glance, I've seen the goals conceded, just once or twice now, and that's partly individual, where we sometimes made the mistakes. And everyone has to do their job over 90 minutes and we have to work on that."

Flick, though, was effusive in his praise of Bayern Munich star Jamal Musiala, who was a constant thorn in England's side and drew the foul from Harry Maguire for Germany's opener from the spot.

"Jamal just showed why he is an exceptional talent. He got us the second goal from in his own half and he's both defensive and offensive, I think he's a player that's good for us," Flick added.

"And simply by his dribbling ability, he can pull out situations like penalties, but of course also he can move opponents around, one or two players are out of position and then it's a different situation. 

"Then we have more room, more space and those are the things that are good for us."

Rob Pelinka says the Los Angeles Lakers are ready to trade their first-round picks if they have an opportunity to strengthen the roster and provide support for LeBron James.

Four-time NBA MVP James signed a new contract with the Lakers worth a whopping $97.1million last month.

Los Angeles failed to make the playoffs last season and Darvin Ham has been charged with the task of turning their fortunes around, having replaced Frank Vogel as head coach.

Lakers general manager Pelinka says they are prepared to give up picks if it means they can add quality to the ranks.

He said during a media day: "One thing that needs to be made clear is, there was a lot of speculation, will the Lakers trade their picks? Will they not trade their picks?

"Let me be abundantly clear: we have one of the great players in LeBron James to ever play the game on our team. He committed to us with a long-term contract, a three-year contract.

"So of course, we will do everything we can, picks included, to make deals that give us a chance to help LeBron get to the end. He committed to our organisation. That's got to be a bilateral commitment, and it's there."

There has been talk that Russell Westbrook could be traded ahead of the new season, although he this week declared that he is "all-in" with the Lakers.

Pelinka said Westbrook is "a great part of our team", but gave no guarantees he will stay by stating: "If we have to continue to upgrade our roster throughout the season, we will."

The Lakers on Monday confirmed the signings of guard Dwayne Bacon and forward Matt Ryan.

 

CeeDee Lamb was motivated to "step up" for his game-winning catch in the Dallas Cowboys' victory over the New York Giants having been annoyed by a second-quarter drop.

The Cowboys' star receiver made a couple of first-half errors, one of which he looked certain to claim in his stride for a touchdown from an excellent deep ball from Cooper Rush, only for it to slip through his grasp.

But Lamb more than atoned by making a sensational one-handed grab for a touchdown with 8:30 to play.

It was the icing on the cake of an 89-yard drive, in which Rush – standing in again for the injured Dak Prescott – found Lamb on four occasions.

"It [the dropped pass] was a situation I had to deal with on my own. Obviously I’m the one that dropped the ball for the guys," Lamb said after the game. 

"So knowing that I had to make this up in the back end of the game, I just wanted to step up.

"I was willing to do anything to make up for a touchdown potentially that I left in the first quarter. It was tough. It was a tough one, but I'm happy we came out victorious."

Lamb finished the game with eight catches for 87 yards but conceded there were frustrations from his earlier mistakes.

"It was very frustrating. Honestly, just because I practice all week, all offseason just on focusing in on the ball, and I let that one slip away," he added.

"It was tough. Partially because, like I said, all the hard work I put in just for one play away, I let it slip."

Ezekiel Elliot's one-yard touchdown had earlier levelled the game, and Lamb – now the undisputed number one receiver in the team after Amari Cooper was traded to the Cleveland Browns – felt like his winning contribution was a breakthrough moment.

"Most definitely [it was a breakthrough moment]," Lamb said.

"I appreciate Kel [offensive coordinator Kellen Moore] for trusting in me, all the guys believing in my ability. 

"You know, it was a tough third quarter. I kept thinking about it. All the guys kept preaching to me, 'Let it go. Let it go. We still got more game left.' 

"And fourth quarter when I kept hearing my number being called I knew it was my opportunity again, so I had to step up.

"It's gonna have its ebbs and flows. It's all about being consistent. Staying positive. Everything's not going to go my way. And when it does, it's going to go big."

Stand-in quarterback Rush played in back-to-back NFL games for the first time in his career with Prescott still sidelined by a hand injury sustained in week one against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

For Rush, the focus is on the team and not any potential battle for a starting berth.

"I want to keep winning, as long as I'm in there let's keep winning," he said post-game.

"Trust each other both sides of the ball [and] we'll be alright."

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