Andy Murray has pulled out of next week's Masters 1000 tournament in Madrid because of a back injury, writes Henry McCall. He will hope to return to action at another Masters event in Rome the following week as he builds up to the French Open, which begins on May 27.
Murray said in a statement on the tournament website: "It is with regret that, on doctor's advice, I have to withdraw from the Mutua Madrid Open with injury. I love coming to Madrid so it is a big disappointment. I look forward to returning next year."
Murray has shown reasonable form on clay this season, reaching the quarter-finals in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, but then losing to lower-ranked opponents in Tomas Berdych and Milos Raonic.
The British veteran Jeremy Hunt has been called up to the Team Sky squad for the Giro d'Italia, writes Colin Renton. The race begins today in Denmark, which will host the first three stages before the riders fly to Italy for the rest of the event. Hunt replaces Ben Swift who crashed in training on Thursday.
Today's stage is a time trial over 8.7km and Hunt's team-mate Geraint Thomas should be among the contenders for the win. Another Sky rider, Mark Cavendish, will be looking to add to his tally of seven Giro stage wins as the race unfolds. The Italian Michele Scarponi, of Lampre, defends the title in the 21 day race, which finishes in Milan on May 27.
n James McCallum will hope to build on his third place at last weekend's Cicle Classic when he contests tomorrow's Tour of the Reservoir in Northumberland. He is in a strong Rapha Condor-Sharp squad, while his fellow Scots Evan Oliphant (Team Raleigh) and Robbie Hassan (Herbalife) will also contest the 100-mile event which is the latest round of British Cycling's Premier Calendar Series.
Frazer Goldie, from Irvine, will make his debut in the Elite League with Edinburgh Capitals after impressing their coach Richard Hartmann, writes Nigel Duncan. The defenceman, who was at Solway Sharks last season and has played for the Great Britain under-18 side, said: "I will be working hard over the summer to make sure I am ready and really looking forward to the challenge of playing at a higher level." Hartmann said: "Frazer is a good-sized defenceman at 6ft 1in and 205lbs and will be a great addition to the club."
n The goaltender Mike Will, understudy to JF Perras and Jaakko Suomalainen, yesterday confirmed that he will be returning to Braehad Clan next season.
Allan McNish, from Dumfries, heads into today's dress rehearsal for Le Mans hoping to take another step towards a first world title, writes Kenneth Stephen. He leads the eight-round FIA World Endurance Championship going into this afternoon's Spa 6-hour race. Should he mark the debut of the new Audi R18 e-tron quattro with victory in the penultimate race before Le Mans, he will step closer to a dream.
McNish, 42, has won a host of titles in a glittering sportscar career but has never been a world champion. He knows 2012 represents a gilt-edged opportunity but is not willing to look beyond today's race in the Ardennes.
Audi's hybrid technology has dominated the Spa tests this week but McNish has never won at Spa and hopes to alter that statistic. "I have so many Spa memories but I have never won so we are hoping to rectify that," he said. "This will be crucial race because we will get to see how the car works in race trim before Le Mans."
Katherine Grainger, Scotland's triple Olympic silver medallist, and her partner Anna Watkins, came through their opening heat in this weekend Rowing World Cup in Belgrade, Serbia, in commanding style, writes Mike Haggerty. They were never headed and crossed the line over two seconds up on the German double scullers, with the top Chinese crew third. It was much the faster of the two heats, with the British crew's time being some 8sec faster than the Czech winners of the other heat. Grainger and Watkins go directly to tomorrow's final.
Lossiemouth's Heather Stanning also won her opening heat with pairs partner Helen Glover, cruising across the line over 7sec ahead of second-placed Netherlands. USA crews won the other two heats. Imogen Walsh, from Inverness, and her partner Andrea Denis recovered from a poor start to finish fourth in their heat. They go to rowing's second-chance repechage today but the bad news in their quest for Olympic selection is that their heat was won by the other British crew in the event.
The long road to the Camanachd Cup final starts today and Strathglass will call on their old warhorse Robert Geddes to point the way to Oban, writes Kenneth Stephen.
Geddes, 48, was player/manager at Cannich when the club reached its highest top-flight finish and will be a talisman today, two years short of his fifth decade. He answered a pre-season SOS to return to management to revive fortunes in Cannich. His intention was to combine this with a playing role for the second team but fate has dictated otherwise.
He will be a key figure today as Strathglass aime to see off Aberdour and book a tie against one of the big guns in the next round. "Because we have been short of numbers, I've had to play for the first team on a number of occasions and that will be the case today," said the striker, who has netted six goals so far. "I am fine as long as I don't have to wander too far from the goalmouth. Seriously."
n Newtonmore face Fort William in a key match in the Orion Premiership.
Scotland's men will face the hosts Germany in the bronze medal play-off today after losing 4-0 to the top seeds England in the semi-finals of the European Team Championships in Nuremburg, writes Lorin McDougall. Chris Small lost the opening match to Daryl Selby while Alan Clyne, Greg Lobban and Stuart Crawford went down to Nick Matthew, Peter Barker and Tom Richards respectively. Scotland's women were beaten 3-0 by Netherlands, the second seeds, and face Switzerland today in a play-off for places seven and eight.
Gavin Rumgay, the Scottish No.1, has risen 22 places on the latest world rankings but it is not enough to earn him a place in Great Britain's team for the final Olympic qualifying tournament in Doha, Qatar, from May 10-13. Rumgay has moved up from 265 to 243 but is only fifth-ranked Briton with three of the four players above him – Paul Drinkhall (97), Liam Pitchford (130) and Andrew Baggaley (139) – named in the GB squad.
team. Great Britain (World Olympic Qualifying tournament, Doha, Qatar, May 10-13)
Men P Drinkhall, L Pitchford, A Baggaley (all Eng)
Women J Parker (Eng), N Owen (Wal), N Liu (NIrl)