Sports Briefs

BY THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Published November 26, 2001

Former Dodger loves to fly and it shows

LOS ANGELES (AP) Former Dodgers shortstop Kevin Elster has been included in a lawsuit filed by a Delta Air Lines flight attendant who claims she was threatened and required spinal surgery after a trip last year.

The lawsuit was filed in June by Sandra Komine, 45, against former Dodgers pitcher Carlos Perez and the team. At the time, she identified Elster only as a 200-pound player who ignored instructions to wear his seat belt and fell on her during landing on July 2, 2000.

On Thursday, Dodgers lawyer John Collins confirmed that Elster was included.

Komine claims that before a 45-minute flight from San Francisco to Los Angeles, Perez grabbed her hair and "shook her head violently side to side," and shook her again during landing after she asked him to turn off his cellular telephone.

Shortly after takeoff, Perez claimed to have a handgun and threatened to shoot several attendants, telling one, "I can do anything I want to you."

Komine"s suit claims negligence, assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and loss of consortium.

Judge Emilie Elias on Wednesday overruled most of the Dodgers" challenges to Komine"s lawsuit, dismissing only the claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Elster, who also played with the New York Mets and Texas Rangers, was not re-signed by the Dodgers after the 2000 season. Perez was released last May.

Ailing Mashburn may miss several months

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Charlotte Hornets forward Jamal Mashburn may be out for up to two months because of an abdominal strain that is more serious than originally believed.

Mashburn, the Hornets" second-leading scorer, has already missed three games because of the injury. The diagnosis was originally a strained right groin, but was changed.

One possible treatment for the injury is surgery, unnamed sources told The Charlotte Observer.

Doctors are still considering the most appropriate option and have not yet made a decision about treatment.

A team spokesman said no additional information on Mashburn"s condition or prognosis would be available until Tuesday, after team physician Glenn Perry and others have had a chance to consult with the specialists Mashburn has seen.

"All I know is he"s not going to be around for a while. What the circumstances are, I don"t know," coach Paul Silas said.

"I don"t have a clue how long it will be. All I know is it will be at least three games. The strain is behind the abdominal wall that goes into the groin area, from what I understand."

Mashburn was not available for comment.

The Hornets brought rookie Kirk Haston off the injured list in time for Friday"s home game against Orlando, giving them a full active roster of 12 players.

Racing crowd struck by stray Ford Focus

CARMARTHEN, Wales (AP) Two-time world champion Carlos Sainz"s car went off the road and plowed into a spectator area during the British Rally on Saturday, leaving 13 fans hospitalized.

None of the 13 was in life-threatening condition at West Wales General Hospital, police spokesman Dai Davies said.

A 12-year-old boy and 13-year-old girl sustained leg injures. Two adults had serious head and back injuries, and nine others were expected to be released with scrapes and bruises.

Police initially reported at least 15 were injured, but said two victims who arrived by helicopter were counted twice.

The accident happened during the 11th stage of the rally the third stage on Saturday. Crowds estimated at 50,000 daily attend the four-day rally, one of the most popular sports events in Wales.

Sainz slid wide in his Ford Focus while taking a corner in a forested area about eight miles into the 18.5-mile stage, a Ford spokesman said. Sainz was not injured and finished the stage before withdrawing. Ford also withdrew its other car from the rally.

Richard Burns, closing in on his first World Rally Championship, remained in second place overall after the 11th stage. Marcus Gronhold of Finland was in first place.

"It does not matter how I feel about driving," Burns said. "This puts everything into perspective."

Abdur-Rahim torches Pistons for 50 points

The Associated Press

It took nearly a month, but someone finally scored 50 points in an NBA game. That someone was Shareef Abdur-Rahim.

Abdur-Rahim became the first NBA player to score 50 it happened nine different times last season in the Atlanta Hawks" 106-99 come-from-behind victory over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night. The previous high this season was 44 points by three players Washington"s Michael Jordan, Orlando"s Tracy McGrady and Denver"s Nick Van Exel.