While the New York Rangers were unwilling to make an official announcement until every available team orthopedist and knee specialist could examine the MRI exam results, the New York Daily News reported that star winger Pavel Bure's season is over because of a torn left anterior cruciate ligament he suffered midway through Friday night's loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

The injury occurred on a fairly harmless-looking play. Bure and Buffalo center Curtis Brown knocked knees as they circled in opposite directions deep in the Sabres' zone.

Bure's left leg immediately gave way and he fell to the ice. He struggled to his skates and barely made it over the boards onto the Rangers' bench.

He departed for the locker room moments later, and team physician Andrew Feldman's initial examination revealed that Bure had suffered far worse than a routine bump on the knee.

"We were hoping for the best but we expected the worst," a Rangers official said. "These doctors are rarely wrong with their initial diagnoses on these things."


Armstrong Chosen

Lance Armstrong was chosen Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year for 2002 after becoming the first American to win a fourth Tour de France.

The 31-year-old Armstrong has dominated cycling's most prestigious race since 1999 -- three years after he had testicular cancer diagnosed.


W. Klitschko Cautious

Wladimir Klitschko methodically disposed of a stiff Jameel McCline on Saturday in Las Vegas, only to hear scattered boos from a crowd gathered for his coming-out party.

The Ukrainian who some think could be boxing's next great heavyweight might have been a bit too cautious for his own good, though there was no arguing with the result.

"It was maybe a little bit boring," Klitschko said. "A couple of rounds there was not much action. But this is the heavyweight division, and you have to be very careful. Sometimes one punch changes everything."


Marathoner Dies

An American runner collapsed and died Saturday shortly after finishing a marathon in the Jamaican resort town of Negril.

Jim Lindstrom, a 59-year-old finance executive from Boston, collapsed about five minutes after receiving his medal as one of the top finishers in the Reggae Marathon. . . .

Mbarak Hussein outkicked fellow Kenyan Jimmy Muindi yesterday to win the Honolulu Marathon for the third time. Hussein finished the 26.2 miles in 2 hours 12 minutes 29 seconds.


Harrington Hits Target

After watching his eight-stroke lead evaporate to one, Padraig Harrington played the final four holes without a mistake and finished with a 1-under-par 71 for a two-stroke victory over Tiger Woods in the Target World Challenge in Thousand Oaks, Calif. . . .

Kevin Na, last year's top-ranked junior in the United States, shot a 6-under 66 to win the $500,000 Volvo Masters of Asia by two strokes in Shah Alam, Malaysia. . . .

Peter Lonard won his second Australian Masters title after a three-way playoff with Gavin Coles and Adam Scott in Melbourne.


Baggio Leads Brescia

With Roberto Baggio directing the attack, Brescia stunned Juventus, 2-0, handing the reigning Italian League champion its first loss of the season.

Juventus (7-1-5) dropped to fourth place, trailing AC Milan (9-2-2), Lazio (8-1-4), and Inter Milan (8-2-3). . . .

Tottenham beat West Brom, 3-1, in the only game in the Premier League, getting early goals by Christian Ziege and Robbie Keane and a late one from Gus Poyet.

Field Hockey

Argentina Wins Title

Cecilia Rognoni scored the deciding goal as Argentina beat the Netherlands, 4-3, in a penalty shootout to win the women's World Cup in Perth, Australia.