Third baseman

Mike Lowell

will have surgery to repair a ligament in his right thumb and will need six to eight weeks to recover, a person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press late Saturday.

Lowell's surgery will negate a trade that would have sent the 2007 World Series MVP from the Boston Red Sox to the Texas Rangers.

Lowell saw a hand specialist Friday in Arizona and then Rangers team physician Keith Meister on Saturday. The Rangers declined to comment specifically on Lowell or the potential trade that would have sent catcher Max Ramirez to Boston.

The Oakland Athletics and free-agent outfielder Coco Crisp were closing in on a one-year contract yesterday, ESPN reported.

Crisp batted .228 with the Kansas City Royals last season.

BOXING: Kelly Pavlik (36-1-32 knockouts) stopped Miguel Espino (20-3-1) in the fifth round Saturday night to defend his WBC and WBO middleweight titles in his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio.

COLLEGES: Temple's Juan Fernandez is the Atlantic Ten Conference men's basketball player of the week. The sophomore point guard averaged 27 points as the Owls beat Villanova and Seton Hall.

Iowa's starting guard, Anthony Tucker, was suspended after Iowa City Police said he was charged with public intoxication.

Iowa athletic director Gary Barta said the 20-year-old Tucker, the team's second-leading scorer at 11.9 points per game, would be suspended indefinitely. Officials at the Johnson County Jail said Tucker pleaded not guilty to one count of public intoxication and was released yesterday on $325 bond.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Southern Cal running back Joe McKnight has been seen driving a Land Rover SUV that was bought for his girlfriend as a favor, a possible violation of NCAA rules.

A businessman from Santa Monica, Calif., Scott Schenter, said he helped buy the car for Johana Michelle Beltran because her family had trouble qualifying for a loan.

McKnight has denied driving the car, but the Times said that one of its reporters has seen USC's leading rusher driving the SUV several times. It is against NCAA rules for athletes to accept benefits from marketing representatives or agents.

GOLF: Italy's Francesco (38th) and Edoardo Molinari (48th) finished in the top 50 in the world, becoming the first set of brothers in 10 years to earn spots in the same Masters.

The Masters invites the top 50 in the final world ranking, which was finalized yesterday after the South African Open. The Molinaris will be the first brothers at Augusta National since Jumbo and Joe Ozaki in 2000.