“It is not having the World Cup in mind, it is having in mind the number of minutes he has played and I want Phil to be 100 per cent to be able to put him on the pitch. “That will help him, the team, and he will be available for the summer. It is having the healthy state of Phil in mind.” There was better news on midfielder Ross Barkley, who came off at half-time in Everton’s 3-1 win at Fulham with a calf problem. “He’s had two very good days and we will assess him today and we will hope he can join the group today or tomorrow so we are very much positive he will be available for Sunday.” Martinez also expects to see fellow midfielder Darron Gibson back before the end of the season after a cruciate knee ligament operation. “I would be surprised if he doesn’t join the group next week. That doesn’t mean he will be involved on the pitch but if he is progressing the way he is I think we could see him playing before the end of the season.” Striker Arouna Kone, out since October with a knee injury, will not be available, however, but Bryan Oviedo’s hopes of making the World Cup with Costa Rica are good as he continues to make astonishing progress from a double fracture of his leg in January. “I don’t think we will see Kone this season. It is more realistic to see him back in pre-season,” said Martinez. “But I do feel Bryan has a good opportunity to join the group in the final week of the season, which is an incredible recovery time. “From a medical point of view he will be available (for the World Cup) which allows the manager to make a decision on that. “The moment the injury happened I thought the World Cup was out of the question but there is a chance.” Everton manager Roberto Martinez insists it would be a “fatal gamble” to bring back captain Phil Jagielka too early from a hamstring injury. Press Association The centre-back has missed the last six matches and although the Toffees boss said the defender would travel to last weekend’s game at Fulham he did not feature in the squad and the club’s medical staff have warned he is not yet ready to return. Martinez made the error of throwing Jagielka into action too soon for the 4-0 Merseyside derby defeat at Anfield in late January and insists he will not make the mistake again. The risk of the England international getting injured again now would put his World Cup place in doubt but his manager said that was not the basis of his thinking. “We need to be very careful. It is an injury we need to be very aware we don’t get a recurrence,” said Martinez. “I still think he is doing his individual programme and the medical department are not ready to allow him to join the group and be in the squad. “I don’t think he will be available for this week (against Arsenal) and I think we need to play it very much safe with Phil. “He has played a lot of football and the concern is even though he is ready to step up we need to be careful with introducing him into games. “Don’t get me wrong, the well-being of the player is the most important thing. “With all fairness I rushed him back in one game this season and that was because we had no-one else to play. “Sometimes you can do that because of the amount of minutes they have played and it is a controlled gamble, but at this stage of the season it would be a fatal gamble if he is not fully match fit and having to cope with a possible soft-tissue injury.
This year’s Big Ten Indoor Championship in the 60-meter dash was more than just a trophy for junior sprinter Demi Omole.The 6.70-second victory marked an entire season’s comeback attempt.In last season’s Big Ten Indoor Championship, Omole pulled up in the 60-meter dash with a hamstring injury, disqualifying him from the event and allowing then-freshman Anthony Cole of Ohio State to win the event.Omole was still affected by the injury at the NCAA Indoor Championships in 2005, causing him to finish in fourth place. Had he been healthy, he feels as though he easily could’ve competed for the top spot.Sure, Omole bounced back in the outdoor season last year and won the Big Ten title in the 100-meter dash, but it was that indoor 60-meter dash event Omole had his eyes on.”The team was giving me a lot of crap about not getting the Big Ten title [last year],” Omole said. “I was just trying to get that hump off of my back.”Now healthy, Omole recaptured the 60-meter event title from Anthony Cole this year, but he felt as though a pair of freshman were really his top competitors.Dominique Worsley of Illinois and Adam Harris of Michigan stepped on the scene this year in their freshman seasons to challenge Omole with times of 6.75 and 6.83 seconds, respectively.But as a junior with plenty of Big Ten Championships under his belt, Omole simply wasn’t having it.”There were two freshmen who were pretty good,” Omole said. “But I had to show them the ropes.”Omole also had a huge advantage on the freshmen, as he has developed his 60-meter technique to near perfection.”It’s all about just getting out hard,” he said. “If you get beat off the block, you’ll never be in contention, but you’ve got to hold on to your acceleration without looking back, too, and get out as far as you can.”In the 200-meter dash, however, his technique didn’t work, as he finished in fourth place at this year’s Big Ten Indoors.”It wasn’t as high as we expected for me to place,” Omole said. “But outdoor I’m much better running the 200.”While Omole will seek to improve his 200-meter dash mark during the outdoor season, all of his work in practice will now be concentrated solely on the 60-meter dash as he begins to prepare for the NCAA Indoor Championships come March 10.”I’m just working on a lot of acceleration stuff because I’m only running the 60 at [National Championships], and I have a pretty good shot at winning,” he said. “So we’re just working on a lot of acceleration and making sure my blocks are on point.”In just his third season on campus, Omole has made quite the name for himself at UW and found himself in a situation he didn’t necessarily see himself being in.Omole originally had decided to attend the University of Florida due its great sprinters’ program, but the Milwaukee, Wis., native decided to transfer after one semester due to being homesick.He even toyed with the idea of going out for the football team when first arriving to Wisconsin.”I went out for [football] the spring of my freshman [year], but they wanted me to put on more weight, and I wasn’t really up for that,” Omole said. “So I decided to focus more on track.”But now, Omole has found his niche alongside track and field head coach Ed Nuttycombe, racking up Big Ten title after Big Ten title.”Being in five Big Ten championships and winning all five, I just don’t know what it’s like to lose in those situations,” Omole said. “I really like this feeling of being a part of a winning tradition here.”
Nagpur, Mar 14 (PTI) The New Zealand cricket team members will wear black armbands tomorrow during the World T20 game against hosts India here as a mark of respect to the departed former captain Martin Crowe. “In the match tomorrow, we will be showing our respects by wearing black armbands and I believe after the anthems, there will be a moment where there will be a pause, so that will be a special time of recognition on behalf of the side,” said New Zealand captain Kane Williamson on the eve of the Super 10 Group 2 game at the VCA Stadium in Jamtha. Crowe died after a long battle with cancer on March 3 in Auckland aged 53 and the funeral was conducted on March 11. “Like you mentioned, some blokes in the side, they were very close to Martin and I guess they will deal it in their own way throughout the tournament and throughout the cricket that is coming up. He was a big part of their lives as a cricketer and as a person. Its just the process that you get through when something significant like this happens,” Williamson added. Widely regarded as the best batsman produced by his country, Crowe played 77 Tests since making his debut against Australia and went on to score 5,444 runs at an average of 45.36 with 17 centuries, still a New Zealand record. PTI SSR AH AH