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Originally published June 27, 2014 at 9:31 PM | Page modified June 28, 2014 at 10:10 PM

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Martell Webster has surgery, might miss start of season

Washington Wizards swingman Martell Webster, a former Seattle Prep standout, is recovering from back surgery and might miss the start of the 2014-15 season.

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NBA

Webster has back surgery

Washington Wizards swingman Martell Webster, a former Seattle Prep standout, is recovering from back surgery and might miss the start of next season.

Wizards officials announced Friday that Webster had surgery to repair a herniated disk in his lower back. The microdiscectomy, performed Thursday in Los Angeles, is the same surgery golfer Tiger Woods had in March before returning to the PGA Tour on Thursday.

Webster is expected to be sidelined from three to five months. Wizards officials said he was injured during a workout at the team’s practice facility last week.

Webster, 27, has had three back operations since turning pro, according to The Washington Post. He signed a four-year, $22 million contract with Washington in July after having surgery to repair a sports hernia in May 2013.

Webster averaged 9.7 points last season.

Draft rating sets record

The draft delivered its highest rating on ESPN, surpassing the mark set 11 years ago when LeBron James was the first player picked, by Cleveland.

The telecast Thursday night had a 2.3 rating, according to Nielsen.

NFL

Manziel defends behavior

Cleveland rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M isn’t going to apologize for living life to the fullest, for partying the past five weekends or for having a larger-than-life persona.

Manziel, the 22nd player taken in last month’s draft, talked to reporters at length for the first time since June 4. “Johnny Football” defended his lifestyle, which has drawn criticism from Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith, Joe Montana and Warren Moon in recent days.

“I’m not going to change who I am for anybody,” the 21-year-old Manziel said. “I’m growing up and continuing to learn from my mistakes and trying not to make the same ones over and over again. But am I going to live in a shell or am I just going to hide from everybody and not do anything? I don’t think that’s the way I should live my life, and I’m not going to do it.

“We work hard here. ... I’m very about football and very about my job, which doesn’t get reported or won’t get reported, but I am going to enjoy my time off.”

Auto racing

Keselowski leads qualifiers

Brad Keselowski won the pole for Saturday’s Quaker State 400, a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.

Keselowski had a lap at 188.791 mph in the third knockout qualifying segment for the race.

Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw will start 20th, and Greg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., will start in 24th.

Meanwhile, Kevin Harvick won Friday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the track.

Keselowski was second and Derrike Cope of Spanaway was 37th of 40.

Keselowski rallied from 17th after getting a pit-road speeding penalty with 50 laps remaining.

Major League Soccer

Sporting KC triumphs

Lawrence Olum scored in the 24th minute and Eric Kronberg earned his league-leading seventh shutout as defending champion Sporting Kansas City beat the host Portland Timbers 1-0.

Sporting KC and D.C. United are tied for the Eastern Conference lead with 25 points each, though D.C. United has played one fewer match.

Meanwhile, Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his MLS-leading 12th goal of the season off Tim Cahill’s header in the third minute of second-half stoppage time to give the New York Red Bulls a 2-2 draw with visiting Toronto FC.

Cahill, a substitute in the 78th minute, set up the dramatic finish by flicking a header from the top of the area to set up Wright-Phillips’ left-footed finish.

WNBA

Mercury wins at Indiana

Diana Taurasi scored 23 points and the Phoenix Mercury overcame a 13-point deficit to beat host Indiana 81-76.

In other league games, Emma Meesseman had 22 points and 13 rebounds to lead host Washington past Connecticut 69-63, and Epiphanny Prince scored 30 points to help visiting Chicago beat New York 73-69.

ELSEWHERE

• Norwegian cyclist Thor Hushovd, 36, of the BMC team said he plans to retire after the world championships in September in Spain.

Hushovd, the 2010 world champion, competed in the Tour de France from 2001 to 2011, winning 10 stages.

• California announced a change in leadership in the athletic program, signaling the end of a 10-year run by athletic director Sandy Barbour that featured success in nonrevenue sports as well as recent struggles for the high-profile football team.

Chancellor Nicholas Dirks said the department needed a “fresh perspective” and said former Cal wrestler Michael Williams will take over as interim AD while the school seeks a full-time replacement for Barbour.

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