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Published: Thursday, 6/19/2008

Raiders' Walker expected to be ready for camp

ASSOCIATED PRESS

ALAMEDA, Calif. - The Oakland Raiders expect new receiver Javon Walker to be ready for training camp when he recovers from injuries incurred during a robbery in Las Vegas last weekend.

Raiders coach Lane Kiffin finally spoke to Walker by phone yesterday morning, more than two days after Walker was discovered unconscious and beaten on a back street near the Las Vegas Strip following a night of partying. Walker was released from a hospital after treatment for a concussion and facial injuries.

"The info that I have is he's going to be fine," Kiffin said. "Training camp won't be an issue. But until our guys look at him, I don't want to say [the extent of Walker's injuries]."

A Las Vegas police spokesman said a large amount of cash and expensive jewelry were taken from Walker, who was photographed earlier in the fateful evening spraying a nightclub crowd with champagne.

Walker signed a six-year, $55 million deal with the Raiders in February.

•CINCINNATI - Receiver Chad Johnson is expected to be fully recovered from ankle surgery when the Cincinnati Bengals open training camp next month.

Johnson had his troublesome right ankle cleaned out yesterday. He is expected to be ready for the start of training camp on July 27.

The ankle bothered Johnson last year, and the team recommended surgery when the season ended. Johnson declined, and the ankle became an issue at the team's mandatory minicamp last week. The Pro Bowl receiver said he couldn't practice because the ankle was bothering him.

Johnson has been lobbying for a trade since the end of last season. The Bengals refused, and Johnson has threatened to sit out the season if he's not dealt to another team.

INNSBRUCK, Austria - With a spot in the European Championship quarterfinals on the line, only Russia looked interested.

Russia dominated a 2-0 victory over Sweden last night in a Group D elimination game. Roman Pavlyuchenko scored in the first half and Andrei Arshavin, coming off a two-match suspension, made it 2-0 right after the break. That set up a match against the Netherlands on Saturday in Basel.

Russia finished second behind Spain on six points in Group D, three ahead of Sweden, which would have advanced with a win or a draw. Russia will find out if it's good enough when they meet the powerful Netherlands.

The youthful Russians outran the experienced Swedes to qualify for the knockout stage for the first time since the breakup of the Soviet Union. For Sweden, it was the first group stage exit at a major tournament since Euro 2000.

"I think we were too passive, especially in the first half," Sweden coach Lars Lagerback said. "We tried to lift ourselves up in the second half, but then they scored an early goal and it became an uphill battle."

Russia coach Guus Hiddink maintained his record of reaching the knockout stage in every international tournament he has coached. He now will take on his home country, which he led to the semifinals of the 1998 World Cup.

Hiddink's move to pick Arshavin in his starting team paid off as the playmaker picked up a pass from Yuri Zhirkov in a fast Russian counterattack and scored with a right-footed shot in the 50th minute.

The goal stunned the Swedes, who struggled to contain Russia's attack throughout the first half.

Pavlyuchenko gave Russia the lead in the 24th after being set up inside the box by Aleksandr Anyukov following a series of quick passes that ripped open the defense.

•SALZBURG, Austria - Spain takes its perfect record and long unbeaten streak into the European Championship quarterfinals. Greece goes home empty.

Spain finished its spotless first round in Group D with to a 2-1 victory over Greece, leaving the defending champions with no points. Dani Guiza and Ruben de la Red scored second-half goals to rally Spain, which has won nine straight games and is unbeaten in 19.

"It was important for us to win the game," said midfielder Xabi Alonso, who threatened the Greek goal with long-range shots throughout. "We complicated the first half, but we're leaving satisfied."

Greece avoided becoming the first defending champion to leave the European Championship without scoring a goal, getting a 42nd-minute header from Angelos Charisteas. But Greece was the only team to not earn a point from its three matches.

"I'm quite upset. We weren't organized properly," Charisteas said. "We believed in victory, that's the way we go into every game. But we didn't get the breaks we needed."

De la Red tied it in the 61st minute with a hard shot that goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis got a hand on. Guiza, who led the Spanish league with 27 goals scored this season, then headed in the winner in the 88th off a cross from Sergio Garcia.

Both Spain players scored their first goals for their country, which will face Italy in the quarterfinals on Sunday in Vienna.

Charisteas, who scored the winning goal against Portugal in the Euro 2004 final, gave Greece the lead, but it was the only positive development all tournament for the Greeks.

"We wanted to say good-bye in an orderly way, and we did that," coach Otto Rehhagel said. "I don't blame anyone individually. All the players followed my instructions."

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio - For the first time in 36 years, the winner of the Ohio Junior Championship comes from the 15-and-under division and not the 16-18 division.

Smith Brinker, 15, of Cincinnati shot a tournament-low 6-under 65 to take the overall title at Wildwood Golf Club with a 36-hole total of 7-under 135.

The last time the 15-and-under winner was the overall medalist was Ralph Guarasci in 1972. He went on to star on Ohio State's national championship team in 1979.

Josh Agin of Zanesville was fourth overall and took the title in the 16-18 division with rounds of 67 and 71 for a 138.

Brinker earned a spot in the Ohio Amateur to be held July 15-18 at Findlay Country Club.



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