Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols hopes to begin agility drills and light running in a few days to test his surgically repaired right knee.

He had what he considered a minor procedure in October but said Thursday he'll ease into spring training with the hopes of being healthy for opening day.

"It was just regular rehab," Pujols said in Tempe, Ariz. "Everything's good."

  • Philadelphia first baseman Ryan Howard, who missed half the 2012 season recovering from Achilles tendon surgery, says his left leg "feels phenomenal."

  • St. Louis announced a three-year contract extension with general manager John Mozeliak and exercised the 2014 option for second-year manager Mike Matheny.

    Golf

    Matt Kuchar shot a 7-under 64 for the Northern Trust Open lead in Los Angeles. He opened with three birdies, all of the putts inside 3 feet. He also birdied 17 and 18 at Riviera Country Club. Sergio Garcia was second at 65. Cal grad James Hahn shot a 67, while Phil Mickelson scratched out a 71.

  • Lydia Ko, a 15-year-old amateur, shot a 10-under 63 to take a one-stroke lead in the LPGA Tour's season-opening Women's Australian Open at Royal Canberra. Michelle Wie struggled to a 74.

    Tennis


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    Serena Williams moved with one win of becoming the oldest top-ranked women's player, routing Urszula Radwanska 6-0, 6-3 at the Qatar Open in Doha. If Williams, 31, reaches the semifinals by beating Petra Kvitova, she'll return to No. 1 for the first time in 2½ years. Chris Evert was No. 1 in 1985 while just shy of her 31st birthday. If Williams doesn't make the last four, Victoria Azarenka can keep the top spot by reaching the final. Maria Sharapova can pass both players if she wins the event and Williams and Azarenka lose their next matches.

  • Defending champion Roger Federer beat Dutchman Thiemo de Bakker 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the quarterfinals of the ABN AMRO in Rotterdam.

  • Rafael Nadal beat Joao Souza 6-3, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals of the Brazil Open in Sao Paulo.

    Motor sports

    James Hylton, 78, will retire after the season. He's made 602 NASCAR Sprint Cup starts since 1964. He won at Richmond in 1970 and at Talladega in 1972. He's also made 143 ARCA Series starts.

  • Brandon Bernstein led Top Fuel qualifying at the NHRA Winternationals with a run of 3.761 seconds at a top speed of 325.22 mph in Pomona.

    Horse racing

    Rachel Alexandra remains in serious but stable condition after surgery related to complications from the birth of a filly. Doctors at Rood and Riddle Equine Clinic (Ky.) said it's "too early" to determine the prognosis for the 2009 Horse of the Year.