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49ers Crabtree tears Achilles — The San Francisco 49ers suddenly have a huge void in their receiving corps as they chase another Super Bowl berth: Michael Crabtree is sidelined after surgery on his right Achilles tendon. San Francisco’s leading wide receiver underwent surgery Wednesday, though the team is optimistic he will return at some point in 2013. Crabtree was operated on at Stanford by Dr. Tim McAdams one day after suffering the injury during 7-on-7 drills in an organized team activity.
Bears Urlacher to retire — Star linebacker Brian Urlacher says he’s retiring after spending 13 seasons with the Chicago Bears. The eight-time Pro Bowler announced his retirement through social media accounts Wednesday. In a statement, he says “after spending a lot of time this spring thinking about my NFL future, I have made a decision to retire." Urlacher was the face of the Bears’ franchise and leaves as one of the game’s great linebackers. In March, he and the Bears were unable to reach a contract agreement and he became a free agent.
Canucks fire coach — The Vancouver Canucks fired coach Alain Vigneault on Wednesday.The Canucks also fired assistants Rick Bowness and Newell Brown. Vigneault, the Canucks’ all-time leader in coaching wins, led the club to six Northwest Division titles, two Presidents’ Trophy titles and an appearance in the 2011 Stanley Cup final.But Vancouver was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in the past two seasons, including getting swept by the San Jose Sharks this year.
LPGA event cut short — The LPGA Tour’s first trip to Paradise Island is being cut short by rain. Storms that dumped about a foot of rain on the Ocean Club wiped out the pro-am Wednesday and left the course under so much water that today’s first round also was canceled. The tournament now will start Friday and be played over 54 holes.
Visconti takes Giro 17th stage — Giovanni Visconti won the 17th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Wednesday in Vicenza, Italy, to claim another solo victory, and Vincenzo Nibali retained the overall lead. Visconti attacked near the top of the Crosara to win in 5 hours, 15 minutes, 34 seconds over the mainly flat 133-mile route from Caravaggio to Vicenza. Ramunas Navardauskas led a group over the line to finish second, 19 seconds behind Visconti. Luka Mezgec was third.
Timbers sign defender — The Portland Timbers signed defender Rauwshan McKenzie on Wednesday and waived defender Ryan Kawulok. The 26-year-old McKenzie had one assist in 20 appearances for Chivas USA last season. Drafted by the Kansas City Wizards in 2008, he also played for Real Salt Lake. The 23-year-old Kawulok was the eighth overall pick last year in the supplemental draft.
— From wire reports