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Sports Notebook:

Knee injury ends season for Burbank’s Amela

December 12, 2007

Bits and pieces from the local sports scene:

Reigning girls’ soccer player of the year faces long rehab: Burbank High girls’ soccer Coach Loi Phan was hoping to hear good news when he received a phone call Saturday.

On the line was star Bulldogs player Kristina Amela, the 2006-07 All-Area Player of the Year. The junior was giving her coach the results of an MRI she had taken Friday on her injured knee.

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Unfortunately, the news was not good. Amela was diagnosed with a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament. The injury puts an end to the athlete’s season.

“I just feel so bad for her,” Phan said. “Her junior year is so important and I know she was going to do good things this season.”

Phan said even though Amela’s doctors want to try and rehabilitate her injured knee before any surgery is attempted, her recovery time should be at least eight months.

“This is a big blow for Kristina,” Phan said. “I know she has a tough road ahead of her. She is a great player, and I think she has the skills to play for a good college program.”

Amela was injured during a Duarte Tournament match Dec. 4 against Victor Valley.

Last year, Amela tallied a school-record — and area best — 33 goals. She also helped the Bulldogs (13-2-5) make the postseason for the first time in team history.

The Amela-less Bulldogs (3-0) will play in the championship contest of the Duarte Tournament at 4 p.m. today.

Sanchez waiting for arbitration offer from Pirates: Former Burbank High baseball standout Freddy Sanchez could be in for a nice raise this season from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Pirates have until today to tender contracts with six players: Jose Bautista, Jose Castillo, John Grabow, Adam LaRoche, Xavier Nady and Sanchez. All are arbitration eligible.

The club has two players — Shawn Chacon and Tony Armas — who have declared free agency.

Last season, despite being slowed by a knee injury which forced him to miss most of spring training and hampered him at the beginning of the year, Sanchez responded with a fine campaign.

He regrouped to hit a team-high 304, while also leading his team with 602 at-bats, 183 hits, 42 doubles, four triples and 266 total bases.

This was Sanchez’s first season playing regularly at second base after playing most of 2006 at third base.

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