Thursday’s Sports In Brief

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The Rangers have scheduled a Friday afternoon news conference where the 37-year-old Young is to formally announce his retirement.

The seven-time All-Star retires with a .300 career average and as Texas’ hits leader with 2,230. He was the 2008 AL Gold Glove at shortstop.

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OLYMPICS

SOCHI, Russia (AP) - A day after the head of the Sochi organizing committee appeared to contradict IOC President Thomas Bach on the rights of Olympic athletes to freely express themselves at news conferences, organizers issued a back-pedaling statement “to clarify” their position.

Dmitry Chernyshenko said Wednesday that he didn’t think athletes were allowed to speak about non-sporting issues at official Olympic news conferences. On Monday, Bach said athletes would be free to do so.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A Brazilian gymnast who was expected to compete in freestyle skiing at the Sochi Olympics is unable to move her arms or legs and can’t breathe on her own after she hit a tree while skiing in Utah this week, doctors said.

Lais Souza, 25, is fighting for her life and will definitely miss the Olympics, said Brazilian team doctor Antonio Marttos at a news conference in Salt Lake City.

She was injured Monday when she hit a tree while skiing recreationally in Park City, Utah, in an accident that doctors said could have happened to anybody. She was not injured while practicing her freestyle maneuvers.

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GOLF

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Rory McIlroy took another step toward regaining his form Thursday with his lowest score in more than three years, a 9-under 63 while playing with Tiger Woods to take a two-shot lead in the Dubai Desert Classic.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Phil Mickelson’s back was better than his game in the Phoenix Open.

Returning to play after withdrawing from Torrey Pines last Friday night because of back pain, Mickelson opened his title defense with an even-par 71 at TPC Scottsdale. That left him seven strokes behind leaders Bubba Watson and Y.E. Yang.

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