Pat Cummins was the victim of "really, really bad luck" as Australia's captain was forced to miss the second Ashes Test and go into isolation.

That was the verdict of Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley, who said the team had no option but to go into the Adelaide clash against England without their new skipper.

Cummins was dining at a restaurant on Tuesday and sat nearby to someone who has since been confirmed as a positive coronavirus case.

The star paceman did not breach any biosecurity protocols and isolated as soon as he became aware of the situation. Cummins has since had a PCR test, which produced a negative result, and said he was "gutted" to be ruled out of action. Michael Neser came in for his debut, replacing Cummins.

What it means for Cummins is that he could only watch on television as Australia made a bright start against England, reaching 211-2 in 78 overs as the first day continued to unfold.

Hockley said on BT Sport: "It's certainly been eventful, and it's so disappointing that Pat was ruled out as a close contact last night

"No one's more disappointed than Pat and everyone's been working extremely hard overnight to get the facts, and ultimately it was determined, working with the health authorities, that he had been in close contact with a positive case. It's just really 'wrong time, wrong place', and it's really, really bad luck. We're thrilled that he's going to be fit and raring to go on Boxing Day.

"We worked to establish the facts. We worked closely with SA [South Australia] Health. Ultimately, if you do become a close contact then the rules are to isolate for seven days, so there was really no option in the end.

"We've got protocols in place to make sure that multiple players don't get tied up in that situation, so they have to dine in small groups. If there's one consolation, it's that everyone else is available to play."

Hockley said Cummins should be available for the next match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and measures were being taken to ensure he can stay fully fit.

"He's in isolation now. He's watching the cricket," Hockley said.

"We'll be putting plans in place plans to make sure that when people are in isolation they get access to the right fitness equipment, and we all want to make sure he keeps his conditioning up to a level and that he's in optimum condition for the Boxing Day Test."

Steve Smith captained Australia in the absence of Cummins as the day-night Test got under way.

Australian captain Pat Cummins has sensationally been ruled out of the second Ashes Test against England, deemed a close contact of a person who received a positive COVID-19 test.

The news comes on the morning of the first day of the pink-ball Test at Adelaide Oval, with Queensland fast bowler Michael Neser confirmed to replace Cummins in the XI for his debut on Thursday.

Former skipper Steve Smith will captain Australia in the absence of Cummins in the day-night Test in Adelaide.

Cummins was dining at a restaurant on Tuesday and was sat nearby to someone who has since been confirmed as a positive coronavirus case.

The star paceman did not breach any biosecurity protocols and isolated as soon as he became aware of the situation. Cummins has since had a PCR test, which produced a negative result.

However, Cummins has been confirmed as a close contact by South Australia Health and will be required to isolate for seven days, ruling him out of the second showdown with rivals England.

Cricket Australia (CA) said it anticipated Cummins will be available to play in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG in Melbourne.

"Cummins is understandably very disappointed not to be able to captain Australia for the day-night Test in Adelaide," CA said in a statement.

The 28-year-old fast bowler had led Australia to a nine-wicket victory in the Ashes opener as skipper in Brisbane, after taking over from Tim Paine.

Smith's deputising marks the first time he will have captained his country since the controversial 2018 sandpaper-gate Test match in Cape Town, which led to his dismissal as skipper and 12-month suspension.

Australia may have dodged a further bullet, revealing Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon were also dining at the same restaurant but at a separate table outdoors.

Both have been deemed casual contacts by SA Health and are free to play.

Real Madrid announced on Wednesday that Luka Modric and Marcelo have tested positive for coronavirus.

The experienced pair returned positive results in the latest round of routine squad tests and will now self-isolate.

Madrid, who beat Atletico Madrid 2-0 in the derby on Sunday, are next in action on Sunday, when they face Cadiz in LaLiga.

While Marcelo, 33, has started just once for Madrid this season, Modric remains a key part of Carlo Ancelotti's side.

The midfielder, who turned 36 in September, excelled against Atleti as Los Blancos moved eight points clear of Sevilla at the top of the table.

In total, he has played 18 times in all competitions this season.

Madrid face Athletic Bilbao on December 22 before resuming their season away to Getafe on January 2.

Organisers of the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations are working "around the clock" to ensure the tournament goes ahead amid suggestions it will be postponed.

There have been reports the finals could be called off due to the emergence of the Omicron strain of COVID-19, first identified in South Africa and now being cited as the reason for a rapid rise in infections in some parts of Europe and Africa.

The tournament was originally set to be played in January and February 2021, but was postponed due to the pandemic.

Veron Mosengo-Omba, the general secretary of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), met with officials from host nation Cameroon on Tuesday to discuss concerns ahead of the tournament's scheduled start on January 9.

CAF said in a statement that "the meeting between CAF and Health Ministry [of Cameroon] ironed out a number of details in relation to the competition" with the continent's footballing governing body and the Cameroon government said to have reached "common ground on the approach to the competition in January".

Mosengo-Omba said: "The meetings were important in getting a level of understanding on the state of readiness in Cameroon. There is a lot of work that is being done.

"We have to continue with the same momentum. We cannot rest. We have to work around the clock. I'm not resting, the LOC [local organising committee] cannot rest. CAF cannot rest. Everyone must join the efforts. We want to see a great Africa Cup of Nations here in Cameroon in January next year.

"Together with the Minister of Sport, we discussed all the pending issues and the way forward.

"There is a lot of progress in most operational matters and there is work that is currently being done day and night by the host nation, Cameroon to ensure that all the facilities for the teams are ready. We know of the massive effort that everyone is putting as part of the final touches on the ground. We see this progress, we acknowledge this progress."

Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo has been ruled out of Wednesday's game against the Indiana Pacers after entering the NBA's health and safety protocols.

Antetokounmpo is the latest big-name player to be listed in the league's COVID-19 protocols after Brooklyn Nets star James Harden on Tuesday.

Finals MVP Antetokounmpo has been averaging 27.0 points, 11.6 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game for the defending champions this season.

Antetokounmpo is shooting 53.0 per cent from the field – his lowest number since the 2017-18 season, and 28.0 per cent from three-point range.

The Bucks (18-11) are third in the Eastern Conference, behind the Nets (19-8) and Chicago Bulls (17-10).

The Los Angeles Lakers cancelled practice on Tuesday after guard Talen Horton-Tucker entered the NBA's health and safety protocols.

Amid a growing list of cases in the league, the Lakers' Horton-Tucker tested positive for COVID-19.

The Lakers were due to practice prior to their flight ahead of Wednesday's clash with the Dallas Mavericks, however, a team spokesperson confirmed to ESPN and The Athletic that training did not take place.

The Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls and Charlotte Hornets have all been struck down by coronavirus.

Anthony Davis is also questionable for the midweek game against the Mavericks due to left knee soreness.

The Lakers (15-13) are sixth in the Western Conference and riding a two-game winning streak.

James Harden will not feature in Tuesday's clash with the Toronto Raptors after becoming the latest Brooklyn Nets player to enter the NBA's health and safety protocols.

Harden entered COVID-19 protocols alongside team-mate Bruce Brown prior to the game against the Raptors, the Eastern Conference-leading Nets announced.

Brooklyn now have seven players sidelined due to those protocols, including LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre' Bembry, James Johnson, Jevon Carter and Paul Millsap.

Kevin Durant was in doubt for the matchup because of right ankle soreness, however, the superstar has been cleared to face the Raptors.

The Nets have scored 100 or more points in 12 straight games, only the Minnesota Timberwolves have a longer active streak in the NBA (14), according to Stats Perform.

Brooklyn are 18-4 this season when hitting the century mark and 1-4 when they do not reach 100 points.

Durant scored a season-high 51 points against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, which is the most by any player this season.

The former MVP has seven career 50-point games with the haul in the win over the Pistons being his first for Brooklyn. Kyrie Irving is the only Nets player with multiple 50-point games all-time (two).

The Brooklyn Nets listed Kevin Durant as questionable for Tuesday's game against the Toronto Raptors – and COVID-19 protocols have seen five others ruled out.

Durant has 'right ankle soreness', the Nets said, and that comes two days after he scored a season-high 51 points in the Nets' 116-104 win over the Detroit Pistons.

Kyrie Irving remains away from the team and unavailable having refused to be vaccinated, and Joe Harris is another confirmed absentee after undergoing ankle surgery.

The NBA's strict protocols in pandemic times mean the Nets also must cope without five more members of Steve Nash's squad.

It had been previously announced that Paul Millsap was on that list, before the Nets added LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre' Bembry, James Johnson and Jevon Carter on Tuesday.

Aldridge, Johnson and Bembry were starters, alongside Durant, in Sunday's clash with Detroit.

The clash with Toronto is due to be the first of five games in eight days at Barclays Center for the Nets, whose 19-8 record sees them lead the way in the Eastern Conference.

The Chicago Bulls' next two NBA games have been postponed due to a coronavirus outbreak.

It was announced by the Bulls on Monday that 10 of their players and additional members of staff are in the league's health and safety protocols.

The NBA confirmed Chicago will not face the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday or the Toronto Raptors two days later.

Ayo Dosunmu and Stanley Johnson took the list of Bulls players unavailable due to entering the protocols to seven for a 118-9 defeat to the Miami Heat on Saturday.

The games against the Pistons and the Raptors will be rearranged.

Bayern Munich head coach Julian Nagelsmann is hopeful Joshua Kimmich's declaration that he is ready to take a COVID-19 vaccine will draw a line under the matter.

Kimmich made headlines in October when he explained he was not willing to receive his first dose due to what he perceived as a lack of research into possible long-term effects.

The 26-year-old has not featured for Bayern since November 6 after twice being forced to isolate due to being a close contact of someone who tested positive for coronavirus.

He was then infected with COVID-19 himself and was last week ruled out until 2022 due to an issue with his lungs.

Kimmich confirmed in an interview with ZDF on Sunday that he is now in a position where he feels ready to get vaccinated.

Nagelsmann, who was himself struck down by the illness, is pleased with Kimmich's announcement but insisted he did not sway the midfielder's decision.

"I think it's good that he faced the media. A lot has been reported about him in the last few weeks," Nagelsmann said on Monday. 

"I gave him my opinion, but in the end his conviction was a result of talks with other people at the club. I rather try to work on the pitch."

Nagelsmann, who has been regularly questioned on the topic over the past two months, added: "I think it's funny I'm still being asked! 

"When the year 2021 comes to an end, I hope that we will be able to deal with the pandemic subject more briefly because we can master the situation."

 

Bayern will be without Kimmich for their final two Bundesliga games of the year, while Jamal Musiala is also doubtful to face Stuttgart on Tuesday and Wolfsburg next weekend.

Musiala has scored in Bayern's last two games, including the decisive strike to see off Mainz 2-1 on Saturday, but a broken hand could keep him out of action until 2022.

"That depends on the pain," Nagelsmann said ahead of the trip to Stuttgart. "He has a splint and could theoretically play, but it's a pain issue. 

"We'll see how he moves today. We'll have to wait a few days and take another X-ray to see how to proceed with the treatment, whether it will be surgical or conservative."

Nagelsmann confirmed Leon Goretzka and Corentin Tolisso are also fitness doubts for Tuesday, but Marcel Sabitzer has returned to training and may be part of the squad.

Bayern have won 66 of their 104 Bundesliga matches against Stuttgart – no other team in Bundesliga history has won so often against a single opponent.  

The Bavarian giants have won 17 of their last 18 league meetings with Stuttgart, with the only exception being a 4-1 loss in May 2018.

Pellegrino Matarazzo's side have taken seven points from their last three games, however, and Nagelsmann is not anticipating an easy game in midweek.

"In terms of the table, they are not quite as good as they were last year," he said. "But it is incredibly difficult to prepare to face them.

"Their coach, who I know well, is a mathematician and that's how he approaches games. You cannot prepare for the way they will set up."

A draw for Bayern at Mercedes-Benz-Arena will ensure they sit top of the Bundesliga at the halfway point for the 15th time in the 16 seasons since the introduction of three points for a win.

The Calgary Flames' next three NHL games have been postponed amid a coronavirus outbreak in the team.

A total of six players and one staff member have entered NHL COVID-19 protocol, the league confirmed on Monday.

Forwards Elias Lindholm, Andrew Mangiapane, Brad Richardson and Adam Ruzicka, defensemen Christopher Tanev and Nikita Zadorov all entered protocol, along with a staff member.

The NHL suggested there may be further cases confirmed in the days ahead, with the team's training facilities closed until further notice.

The Flames (15-7-6) had been set to face the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday, but that game and the subsequent fixtures with the Nashville Predators and the Toronto Maple Leafs will be rescheduled. 

Saturday's game at home to the Columbus Blue Jackets is still set to take place.

US Open champion Emma Raducanu will miss this week's Mubadala World Tennis Championship after testing positive for coronavirus.

The 19-year-old had been due to take on Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Belinda Bencic in the exhibition event in Abu Dhabi.

However, Raducanu announced on Monday that she will not be able to take part in the tournament as she is now self-isolating. 

"I was very much looking forward to playing in front of the fans here in Abu Dhabi, but unfortunately after testing positive for Covid-19, I will have to postpone until the next opportunity," Raducanu said.

"I'm isolating as per rules and hopefully will be able to get back on court soon."

Raducanu became the first qualifier to win a grand slam title with victory at Flushing Meadows in September, but she has won just two of her five matches since then.

The British teenager, who recently appointed Torben Beltz as her new coach after parting company with Andrew Richardson, will next be in action at the Melbourne Summer Set early in the new year as preparation for the Australian Open.

All-Star guard Zach LaVine is the latest Chicago Bulls player to enter the NBA's health and safety protocols amid a COVID-19 outbreak within the team.

LaVine and team-mate Tony Brown Jr. entered the NBA's health and safety protocols on Sunday, bringing the Bulls' total to nine players since the start of December.

The pair follow DeMar DeRozan, Coby White, Javonte Green, Matt Thomas, Derrick Jones Jr., Ayo Dosunmu and Stanley Johnson in being sidelined.

Once players enter protocols, they must quarantine for 10 days or until they return two negative PCR tests within a 24-hour window.

The Bulls (17-10) are not in action again until Tuesday when they host the Detroit Pistons, where they may have only nine available players.

White and Green will have completed their mandatory isolation period by Tuesday and could be cleared to play.

Under NBA rules, a minimum of eight players are required for a team before postponing a game during an outbreak.

LaVine is enjoying an excellent season, averaging 26.0 points, 4.2 assists and a career-high 5.3 rebounds per game.

Joshua Kimmich expressed regret at not jumping at the chance to be vaccinated against COVID-19 – but took a swipe at those who criticised his hesitancy.

The Bayern Munich and Germany midfielder has confirmed he is now ready to take a vaccine after months of delaying his decision, and after experiencing unpleasant effects of having the virus himself.

The 26-year-old caused a major stir in October when he explained he was not willing to receive his first dose due to what he perceived as a lack of research into possible long-term effects.

"Generally, it was just difficult for me to deal with my fears and concerns, which is why I was undecided for so long," Kimmich said, speaking to German broadcaster ZDF.

"Maybe I had to go through what I have now gone through first. Of course, looking back, I would like to make the vaccination decision earlier, but at the time it wasn't possible for me."

Kimmich has not featured for Bayern since November 6 after twice being forced to isolate due to being a close contact of someone who tested positive for coronavirus.

He was then infected with COVID-19 and was this week ruled out until 2022 due to an issue with his lungs. He told ZDF that to return to full training now would create the risk of that problem extending to his heart and "longer consequences".

Kimmich has been dismayed by some reaction to his reluctance to be jabbed, saying: "I have to say personally that some of the limits have been exceeded.

"I also had the feeling that there was one or another who tried to make a name for themselves through this situation. It wasn't always just objective criticism.

"We always talk about respect, tolerance, openness – and these are precisely the values ​​that I particularly missed in my discussion."

 

Kimmich has played 18 times for Bayern across all competitions this campaign.

Bayern, who are playing their home games behind closed doors due to coronavirus restrictions imposed in Bavaria, sit six points clear at the top of the Bundesliga after beating Mainz 2-1 on Saturday.

Bayern Munich and Germany midfielder Joshua Kimmich is ready to take a COVID-19 vaccine after months of delaying his decision.

The 26-year-old made headlines in October when he explained he was not willing to receive his first dose due to what he perceived as a lack of research into possible long-term effects.

Kimmich has not featured for Bayern since November 6 after twice being forced to isolate due to being a close contact of someone who tested positive for coronavirus.

He was then infected with COVID-19 himself and was this week ruled out until 2022 due to an issue with his lungs.

In an interview with ZDF to be broadcast in full later on Sunday, Kimmich revealed he is now in a position where he feels ready to get vaccinated.

"Generally, it was just difficult for me to deal with my fears and concerns, which is why I was undecided for so long," Kimmich said.

Despite being absent for the past month, Kimmich has featured 18 times for Bayern across all competitions this campaign.

Bayern, who are playing their home games behind closed doors due to coronavirus restrictions imposed in Bavaria, beat Mainz 2-1 on Saturday in Kimmich's absence.

Julian Nagelsmann's men are now six points clear at the top of Bundesliga and face Stuttgart on Tuesday in their penultimate game of the year.

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