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Associated Press

HOUSTON — J.J. Watt re-injured his back, according to a person familiar with his condition, and the Houston Texans expect the star defensive end to be sidelined until at least December, and possibly the entire season.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday night on condition of anonymity because the team hasn’t confirmed the injury.

Watt missed training camp and Houston’s four preseason games after surgery in July to repair a herniated disk in his back. He started each of the team’s three regular-season games and got hurt again Thursday against the Patriots.

It’s unclear if the injury will require surgery, but the person familiar with his condition told the AP he could be placed on injured reserve as early as Wednesday.

Watt, who has won Defensive Player of the Year for the past two seasons, didn’t practice on Monday, but coach Bill O’Brien said he was just getting a day off.

It’s a major blow for Houston, which selected Watt with the 11th overall pick in the 2011 draft. Watt has played 83 consecutive games for the Texans despite various injuries, including torn core muscles and a broken hand last season.

The Panthers have signed safety Michael and defensive tackle Kyle Love to one-year contracts.

To make room on the roster, the Panthers waived safety Marcus Ball and placed defensive end Ryan Delaire on injured reserve Tuesday with a knee injury.

A former first-round draft pick of the Tennessee Titans, the 6-foot, 215-pound Griffin was named to the Pro Bowl in 2008 and 2010. He spent nine seasons with Tennessee before signing with Minnesota. However, he was waived by the Vikings on Sept. 7.

MMA

Conor McGregor will fight for Eddie Alvarez’s lightweight title in the UFC’s debut in New York.

The mixed martial arts promotion announced the main event late Monday night for UFC 205 on Nov. 12 at Madison Square Garden in the UFC’s first show in the state.

Tennis

Playing her first match as the No. 1-ranked player in women’s tennis, Angelique Kerber dropped the first set before recovering to beat Kristina Mladenovic 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-4 to reach the third round of the Wuhan Open.

Kerber replaced Serena Williams atop the rankings with her run to the U.S. Open title, and then took time off before heading to China to start her Asian swing in Wuhan, where she had a bye in the first round.

The 28-year-old German didn’t face a breakpoint in the second and third sets as she set up a third-round match against two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, who cruised to a 6-3, 6-1 win over Elina Svitolina.

WNBA

Nneka Ogwumike shot her way to the WNBA Most Valuable Player Award for the first time.

The league announced Tuesday that the Los Angeles Sparks forward received 31 of the 39 first-place votes from a national media panel. She shot a league-best 66.5 percent from the field, the second highest mark ever. She averaged a career-best 19.7 points and 9.1 rebounds to help Los Angeles secure the second best record in the league.

“It’s amazing, this is definitely a league with a lot of talented players,” Ogwumike said.

“It’s funny because you strive for doing something like this. You don’t think of that as being your goal as you’re playing, but it’s an honor to receive it.”

Ogwumike also set a WNBA record when she made 23 consecutive field goals during one stretch, including going 12 for 12 in a game against Dallas.