VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) _ Wayne Gretzky, sidelined since training camp by a back condition that threatened his career, hopes to return to the Los Angeles Kings for a Jan. 16 game against Winnipeg.

''We haven't really nailed it down, but we're shooting for January 16th,'' Gretzky said Thursday. ''That's our goal. We probably won't start before then. We won't start on the road. We will start at home.''

The NHL's all-time leading scorer indicated the home return is necessary because his doctors want to be in attendance when he tests the back under game conditions.

''I hope it's the 16th, but if it isn't, it will be just after that,'' Gretzky said. ''I'm feeling better every day I skate.''

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MILWAUKEE (AP) - Lloyd Pettit watched the New Year's Eve grand-opening ceremonies in the skating rink he helped build and said he no longer has to envy Canada for its ice.

Pettit and his wife Jane, owners of Milwaukee's minor league hockey franchise, donated $2 million toward construction of the $13.3 million Pettit National Ice Center at the state fairgrounds in suburban West Allis.

''What Milwaukee needs more than anything as far as skating is concerned is ice,'' Pettit said. ''Now we've got ice.''

The 220,000-square-foot enclosed complex replaces an outdoor fairgrounds oval on which Olympic candidates had trained for years.

The center is one of only five in the world with an enclosed 400-meter Olympic-style track.

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AMES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa State basketball coach Johnny Orr has been hospitalized after complaining of flu-like symptoms.

Orr, 65, was in stable condition at Mary Greeley Medical Center on Thursday afternoon, a school spokesman said.

''Coach Orr had lost some fluids with some flu-like symptoms and the doctors decided that it would be best to address that situation in the hospital,'' assistant coach Jim Hallihan said. ''We're confident that this will be a short-term situation.''

In Orr's absence, Hallihan coached the Cyclones in their 115-57 victory over Bethune-Cookman on Thursday night.