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Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby suggested Thursday that if the NHL is able to resume its season, it might be best to go straight to the playoffs rather than trying to complete the regular season. Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby says he wouldn’t mind if the NHL went straight to the playoffs if the season is able to resume.

“You try to get in as many games as you can … but wouldn’t mind starting right at the playoffs,” Crosby said on a video conference with media members Thursday.

Crosby was joined by Philadelphia captain Claude Giroux, Carolina center Jordan Staal and New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal. Crosby joked that everyone was looking at him for an answer about what he’d prefer about the resumption of the season after a pause for the coronavirus pandemic.

Opinions vary on what’s next for the NHL, especially because there were 189 games left in the regular season and not all teams had played the same amount.

“Whatever is the fairest,” Jordan Staal said. “Everybody would kind of accept that.”

ARSENAL MANAGER Mikel Arteta says he has fully recovered from the coronavirus, two weeks after testing positive for COVID-19.

Arteta, who turned 38 on Thursday, told the Arsenal website that he is ”completely fine” and that he only felt ill for a few days.

He said “it was a normal virus for me. I had three or four days which were a little bit difficult, with a bit of a temperature and a dry cough, and some discomfort in my chest.”

Arteta became the first Premier League figure to test positive for the coronavirus on March 12. The league was then suspended the next day.

The Spaniard said his wife and nanny also contracted COVID-19, but his three children did not.

He said ”we are all completely fine now.”

THE NCAA will distribute $225 million to its Division I members in June. That total is $375 million less than had been budgeted this year because the coronavirus outbreak forced the cancellation of the men’s basketball tournament.

The NCAA says $50 million of the payout will come from its reserve fund. A $270 million event cancellation insurance policy will be used to pay off a line credit that will cover the remaining distribution.

JOHN ELWAY, general manager of the Denver Broncos, is donating $50,000 to the Colorado COVID Relief Fund.

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The Broncos and their general manager, John Elway, have made donations to the Colorado COVID Relief Fund. David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Elway’s personal donation follows a $500,000 donation by the team.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement: “Year after year, Coloradans have supported our Denver Broncos, and today I am beyond proud to thank the Denver Broncos for their support of Coloradans in our time of need.”

The Broncos also donated 100,000 meals to the Food Bank of the Rockies and jointly hosted a personal protective equipment drive at their stadium last weekend.

Elway said he wanted to support hospital workers, doctors and nurses who are the front line in the coronavirus pandemic. Elway mentioned his son-in-law, who is a doctor in Sacramento, California. “They truly are the warriors,” Elway said.

THE CLOSURE of Lambeau Field will continue through at least April 24 after Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers issued a “safer at home” order through that date.

Packers officials said the closure would continue until that order expires or until a superseding order is issued.

This closure also applies to the Packers’ pro shop and the Packers Hall of Fame. as well as any team-run public activities in Titletown, a complex of shops and restaurants near the stadium.

Packers officials said Lambeau Field and Titletown will only have essential personnel in place for nonpublic operations of the facilities. Most of the other Packers personnel will continue to work remotely as duties permit.

DREW BREES says he and his wife, Brittany, will donate $5 million to help Louisiana businesses and communities contend with challenges brought on by the rapid transmission of the coronavirus in the state.

Brees, the New Orleans Saints quarterback who posted his pledge on a social media account on Thursday, says the money will help several restaurants in which he has an ownership stake, as well as a major hospital chain and charities like Second Harvest Food Bank to deliver about 10,000 meals per day to people in need.

Brees says he hopes to fund the program “for as long as it takes to children on meal programs, seniors, and families in need,” adding, “Let’s all do our part, maintain hope, and get through this together.”

The quarterback and his wife run the Brees Dream foundation, which has spent tens of millions helping to fund charitable endeavors in New Orleans and surrounding areas along the Gulf Coast. Most of those efforts have focused on improving learning and recreational opportunities for children, as well as health and wellness for children and seniors.

HALL OF FAME jockey Javier Castellano says he has tested positive for the coronavirus and will be in quarantine for two weeks.

Jockey Javier Castellano announced he has tested positive for the coronavirus and will be in quarantine for two weeks. Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

Castellano tested positive as part of a physical that officials at Gulfstream Park mandated as a prerequisite before being cleared to ride in the Florida Derby on Saturday. Castellano says that he has not had “known contact with anyone that has tested positive.”

Castellano last rode on March 15, when he had two mounts at Gulfstream. He returned to New York to see family afterward and was scheduled to ride at Gulfstream this weekend.

It’s unclear if Castellano could have ridden at Gulfstream this weekend even if the physical had not found that he has the coronavirus. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order earlier this week calling for anyone who flies to Florida from New York City or the surrounding areas to self-quarantine for 14 days.

LOUISVILLE UNIVERSITY says the father of junior wide receiver Corey Reed Jr. died Wednesday morning from coronavirus in an Atlanta hospital. Corey Reed Sr. was 43.

Cardinals Coach Scott Satterfield expressed “deepest condolences” to Reed and his family in a release and said the program is there to support them. Satterfield added, “This horrible virus has affected so many people, and it’s even more difficult when it touches someone in the UofL football family.”

Reed caught eight passes for 145 yards in 13 games in 2017 and played in two contests the next season. He returned to Louisville this spring after transferring to Iowa Western Community College.

RAFAEL NADAL and Pau Gasol have launched a campaign to encourage donations in the hope of raising $12.1 million to help Spain fight the coronavirus.

The tennis and basketball stars said in videos posted on social media that they are supporting a Red Cross fundraising effort to help with the public health crisis. Nadal and Gasol say they have made donations and urged others to follow their lead. Former Spain soccer goalkeeper Iker Casillas quickly said he would pitch in.

Nadal says “I believe that we are who we are in large part thanks to your support and now we have to be there for you.”

TWO MAJOR triathlons in Spain have been postponed and the world university triathlon championship in Hungary has been canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Olympic mixed relay qualifying race had already been relocated to Valencia from Chengdu, China, and was scheduled for May 1.

A World Cup event in Valencia had been scheduled for the next day. It’s the seventh World Cup race to be postponed.

The International Triathlon Union says it will try to find new dates for both.

The university worlds were to be staged on June 27-28 in Kecskemet.

THE SPANISH Grand Prix on the MotoGP circuit scheduled for May 3 has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

It is the fifth MotoGP race to be canceled or postponed. The next race at risk is the French Grand Prix on May 17 at Le Mans.

 

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