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Fiji Time: 12:10 AM on Tuesday 22 April

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Monday, December 23, 2013

SPORTS NEWS IN BRIEF

Bale out

MADRID - Gareth Bale will miss Real Madrid's final game of the year away to Valencia on Sunday due to an inflamed calf muscle, Real boss Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed. Bale was absent from Wednesday's 2-0 win over Olimpic Xativa in the Copa del Rey after picking up the injury in training on Tuesday.

Distractions

MADRID - Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino has encouraged his side not to get distracted by off-field matters as they prepare for their final game of the year away to Getafe on Sunday. It has been a busy week in the Catalan capital as the club were ordered by a judge to hand over the contracts that delivered Neymar to the club.

Burnley leads

LONDON - Burnley moved back to the top of the English Championship with a 2-1 win over Blackpool, while previous leaders QPR were beaten 1-0 by promotion rivals Leicester on Saturday. Sean Dyche's side are one point clear of second placed QPR thanks to a brilliant strike from Scott Arfield at Turf Moor.

Vonn fails

VAL-D'ISERE, France - American ski queen Lindsey Vonn failed to put together a winning run for onlooking boyfriend Tiger Woods on Saturday as her unstable right knee gave way halfway through the Val-d'Isere downhill course. Vonn insisted the incident would not have major ramifications.

Busy Xmas

LONDON - Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini admits he has been left cold by the English Premier League's busy Christmas schedule. Pellegrini, in his first top-flight season, has to contend with his title challengers playing on Boxing Day and December 28.

Late rally

BOSTON - Trevor Ariza scored 27 points to help the Washington Wizards to a thrilling comeback win over the Boston Celtics on Saturday. The Wizards won 106-99 but did not lead until the final three minutes of the contest, but Washington ended the game with a 22-7 spurt to dump the host Celtics, who lead the Atlantic division despite a 12-16 record.