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March 20, 1991

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) _ Isiah Thomas had the cast removed and the guard could be back in the Detroit Pistons lineup by the end of April.

Thomas was examined Tuesday by hand specialist Dr. Kirk Watson in Hartford, Conn., where three pins and the cast were removed from the team captain’s right hand.

Watson said X-rays showed the wrist healed well. Thomas will wear a removable splint for a few weeks and could be cleared to practice with the Pistons by April 5 and play in games by the end of April.

Thomas spent nearly two months in the cast after having three bones fused during wrist surgery.

On Monday, Thomas took part in full-court drills with the team at The Palace of Auburn Hills. At one point, Thomas stole a pass with his left hand and drove for an uncontested layup, also with his left. Later, he used the good hand to block a Gerald Henderson shot.

Teammate Joe Dumars said he expects Thomas to be back within the regular season.

″If possible, he will,″ Joe Dumars said. ″If there is any way possible, he will be back.″

″Realistically, I think he is going to be back,″ Pistons coach Chuck Daly said. ″The guys have to understand that might not be the case, at least during the regular season.″

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Minnesota Vikings defensive back Carl Lee may face weapons possession charges for an unloaded handgun found in a handbag he was carrying while on his way to board a plane at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, police said.

The .38-caliber revolver was detected at a security checkpoint at 2:38 p.m. Monday, said Sgt. Mike Haase of airport police. Lee was taken to police headquarters, questioned and released. Haase said a police report will be sent to prosecutors for possible charges.

Dan Endy, a spokesman for the Vikings, said Lee apparently intended to check the bag at the ticket counter but apparently scrapped the plan because the line was long and he was afraid he was going to miss his flight.

″He proceeded to the gate,″ Endy said. ″I think it was a case of not thinking clearly.″

Haase said Lee was carrying a permit for the weapon from the state of West Virginia. Lee is from Hurricane, W.Va., and was on his way home after making an appearance for the Vikings in the Twin Cities at an automobile trade show, Endy said.

″Mr. Lee was very cooperative and after notification of federal agencies he was released without bail,″ Haase said.

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HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) - The human interest stories won’t compare to that of the NCAA tournament. And its championship game won’t be shown on cable television, like the NAIA title game was Monday.

But the 16-team field at the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament that started play Tuesday should produce some whimsical stories just the same.

In one opening round game, Polk, Fla. managed just 28 of 85 from the field in a loss to Aquinas, Tenn.

″It seemed like our kids were in awe of being in the tournament,″ Polk coach Josh Giles said after Aquinas’ 68-62 victory. ″There is no question that is the worst game we have played all year.″

Amos Gregory, a 6-foot-8, 250-pound freshman, led Aquinas with 16 points, including 7 of 9 from the field. Polk got 20 points from Mike Green and 19 from Dwayne Hackett.

In other opening-round games on Tuesday it was Alvin, Texas, 86, Champlain, Vt. 64; Mississippi Gulf Coast 69, North Greenville, S.C., 66; Mott, Mich. 78, Southeastern-Burlington, Iowa 68; and Kankakee, Ill., 71, Allegany, Md., 62.

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CHINO, Calif. (AP) - The Soviet Union dominated the first day of shooting in the World Cup USA Olympic qualifying competition, winning the gold and silver medals in both the men’s free pistol and women’s sport pistol.

Alexsander Bliznivchenko of the Soviet Union totaled 562 out of a possible 600 targets in the regular match, and then shot a 91 to win the men’s gold with 653.

His teammate Sergei Pyzhyanov moved up from fifth to second with 652, while Australia’s Bengt Sandstrom had 651 for third.

The third place finish for Sandstrom earned the Australians a spot in the 1994 Olympics at Barcelona, Spain.

Eric Buljung of Colorado Springs finished fourth in the free pistol event with a 651 total, but his final score was lower than Sandstrom’s, so he missed earning a medal in the competition.

In the women’s sport pistol event, Soviet Marina Logyinenko shot a 687 of a possible 700 in the 25-meter event to win the gold, while her teammate, Jansa Sekaric, the defending champion, finished second with a 683. Boo Soon Hee of South Korea was third.

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SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - The Spirit of Australia America’s Cup yachting syndicate raised $2.4 million this week, syndicate head Iain Murray said today.

The support from business groups included $800,000 from the Amway group.

Murray’s syndicate is based at the Darling Harbor Yacht Club in downtown Sydney and is one of two Australian groups planning to challenge the San Diego Yacht Club for yachting’s most prestigious trophy.

The Spirit of Australia yacht will be skippered by Peter Gilmour when the America’s Cup series begins off San Diego, Calif., next year.

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