Tokyo Olympics First COVID Case in Olympic Village ... Protesters Rally Against Games

COVID-19 is officially in the house ... or at least the place Olympians will call home when the Olympic Games begin next week.

Organizers say an Olympic Village staffer tested positive Friday for the coronavirus. They added the person is not a resident of Japan, and their job was only described as "games-concerned personnel."

As it is, the International Olympic Committee is under intense pressure. As we reported, Tokyo is under a state of emergency due to a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. That news prompted the IOC to make the last minute decision to pull the plug on having spectators at the games.

Still, protesters have been rallying outside the Olympic Village, demanding the games not go on as planned ... and polls show less than half the Japanese population support the games being held at this time.

While the IOC says about 80 percent of Olympic athletes are vaccinated, the concern is less than 30 percent of Japan's population is vaccinated.

The person who tested positive has has been placed on a 14-day quarantine. The games open Friday, July 23 ... and about 11,000 athletes from around the world are expected to live in the Olympic Village during the 2 weeks of competition.

IOC President Thomas Bach oddly insisted earlier this week there was “zero” risk athletes could pass the virus to others in or out of the village. Makes ya wonder if the IOC is oblivious to what the world's been through for the last 18 months.

Remember, the games were already postponed a full year due to the pandemic -- and now, just 6 days out, the fear of it becoming a super-spreader event is getting very real.

Richard Sherman Hit With 5 Criminal Charges ... NFL Star 'Deeply Remorseful'

2:16 PM PT -- Sherman just showed up to court and, with his attorney, pled not guilty to all the charges.

What's interesting, Sherman entered and exited the courtroom while holding hands with his wife -- the same woman who made 911 calls to cops on Wednesday morning begging them to get the NFL star under control.

Sherman wore a grey suit with a black shirt and no tie, while also wearing a black COVID mask.

He appeared to be in fairly decent spirits given the circumstances ... and had a cordial talk with the prosecutor in the courtroom before the hearing began, telling her he's feeling "all right."

Sherman is expected back in court for another hearing in the case next month.

11:35 AM PT -- Sherman is finally opening up about the incident, saying he is "deeply remorseful" for his actions.

"I behaved in a manner I am not proud of," the NFL star said Friday. "I have been dealing with some personal challenges over the last several months, but that is not an excuse for how I acted."

"The importance of mental and emotional health is extremely real and I vow to get the help I need. I appreciate all of the people who have reached out in support of me and my family, including our community here in Seattle."

Sherman added, "I am grateful to have such an amazing wife, family and support system to lean on during this time."

Prosecutors have just hit Richard Sherman with five charges -- including DUI and criminal trespass -- after he allegedly melted down at his in-laws' home on Wednesday morning.

Officials just made the announcement, explaining all five charges are misdemeanors.

They also said they expect Sherman to appear in court for an arraignment hearing later Friday and plead not guilty to the charges.

The five counts levied against Sherman are as follows, according to prosecutors:

-Driving While Under the Influence

-Reckless Endangerment of Roadway Workers

-Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree – domestic violence

-Resisting Arrest

-Malicious Mischief in the Third Degree - domestic violence

As we previously reported, Sherman is accused of driving drunk, crashing his car, and then exploding at his in-laws' home in Redmond, Wash. just after 12 a.m. on Wednesday.

"COME THROUGH, B****!"

Police say Sherman tried to violently break into his wife's parents' house ... and after cops confronted him at the scene -- they say he became non-cooperative and began fighting them.

Cops say they were eventually able to take him down with the help of a police K9 ... and put him in jail, where Sherman ultimately spent close to 2 days.

The 33-year-old NFL star was eventually released without bail late Thursday afternoon.

Story developing ...

Originally Published -- 11:32 AM PT

South African Surfer Suffers Horrific Injuries In Shark Attack ... Gruesome Photos

A South African man suffered horrific injuries after being viciously attacked by a shark while surfing along the country's coastline this week ... and the photos of his wounds are gruesome.

It happened on Wednesday in Jeffreys Bay ... when 40-year-old Jason Lammers had a terrifying encounter in the water with a shark.

Lammers' surfing buddy, Mark Krieger, tells TMZ Sports the scene was very scary ... saying when he pulled up to the surf spot, Lammers was out of the water and bleeding profusely in a nearby parking lot after being bit.

According to the National Sea & Rescue Institute, Lammers suffered wounds to his right leg and torso -- and in photos that Krieger took of the injuries, you can see it all looked pretty dire.

The pictures show Lammers had deep bite marks in his body -- and in one of the photos, you can see the shark even took a chunk out of Lammers' surfboard while trying to chomp on him.

There's good news, though ... Krieger says after Lammers was treated by the NSRI and transported to a nearby hospital -- he's somehow doing well!

In fact, Krieger tells us his pal is in such good spirits -- they made him a shark attack cake to celebrate the recovery!!!

Officials in the area, meanwhile, closed the beach following the attack ... and the NSRI warned surfers and swimmers to be cautious around the area going forward.

Serena Williams' Agent Tennis Star's Rehab Going 'Great' ... Targeting U.S. Open Return

FINGERS CROSSED
TMZSports.com

Serena Williams is eyeing a return to the tennis court in just a couple weeks ... so says her agent, Jill Smoller, who tells TMZ Sports the star is hoping to shake off her leg injury in time for the U.S. Open.

You'll recall ... Serena crumpled in pain at Wimbledon during her first-round match on June 29, and things did NOT look good for the 39-year-old.

She yelped as she hit the grass ... and broke down in tears as she left the court -- leaving many to wonder if she could possibly be done for the rest of the year.

But, when we got Smoller out in Los Angeles this week ... she told us Williams' recovery process is going well.

"She's doing great," Smoller said.

In fact, Smoller told us the hope is for Serena to be ready to go when the U.S. Open kicks off in New York on Aug. 30.

As for Serena's injury, it's unclear what's exactly wrong with the leg ... but Smoller said Williams is "just doing rehab" on it at the moment.

Conor McGregor I'll Be Back, Better Than Ever 'Like Arnie In Terminator 2'

"DOCTOR SAID IT'S UNBREAKABLE"
@thenotoriousmma / Instagram

8:30 AM PT -- 7/15 -- Conor McGregor is addressing his fans for the first time since leaving an L.A. hospital Wednesday afternoon ... updating his fans on his health just days after breaking his leg, and having extensive surgery to repair the injury.

McGregor admits he's been on a roller coaster of emotions since the gruesome injury occurred ... sometimes feeling "euphoric" -- and other times feeling down in the dumps and in pain.

Conor says the broken leg wasn't Poirier's doing ... McGregor says he had previous injuries -- "multiple stress fractures" -- that led to the nasty break.

The Notorious also says the broken leg bones will actually end up being an advantage when he returns to the Octagon ... 'cause the "unbreakable" titanium rod is staying put in his leg.

"I'm like Arnie in Terminator 2!"

That makes Dustin ... T-1000??

HE'LL BE BACK
TMZSports.com

Conor McGregor was released from a Los Angeles hospital ... just days after surgeons used a rod, plate and screws to fix The Notorious' broken leg.

TMZ Sports talked to Dana White ... who updated us on McGregor's status.

"I think they just released him right now from the hospital about 10, 15 minutes ago."

Remember, Conor cracked his tibia AND fibula during the last 10 seconds of the 1st round of his trilogy fight with Dustin Poirier.

We broke the story ... McGregor underwent successful 3.5-hour surgery at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles Sunday afternoon.

Doctors surgically placed an intramedullary rod in the tibia ... and attached a plate and screws to the fibula.

After the surgery, Conor made a video message addressing his fans, saying, "Everything went perfect. I'm feeling tremendous" ... adding after 6 weeks on crutches "we begin to build back."

Count the UFC prez as a believer ... 'cause Dana told us he expects McGregor to return to the Octagon.

"He'll be back in a year."

As for Conor's immediate plans ... White says the UFC superstar will spend some time recovering in SoCal.

"He'll be in L.A. for a little while. I don't know if he's gonna fly home, or what he's gonna do."

FYI, today is Conor's 33rd birthday ... and being released from the hospital ain't too bad a present.

Originally Published -- 7/14 4:30 PM PT

Britney Spears Posts #FreeBritney After Crying in Court

5:41 PM PT -- Britney is thanking her fans for supporting her, and she's joining the movement ... because she just posted #FreeBritney on her social media.

The hashtag is on Britney's latest post, a video of her riding horseback and doing cartwheels in what she says is a celebration.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

Britney says she's feeling thankful and blessed for all the fan support ... adding, "You have no idea what it means to me be supported by such awesome fans."

Her boyfriend, Sam Asghari, also left a supportive comment ... saying, "Internet is about to explode #freebritney."

Buckle up.

3:39 PM PT -- Britney addressed the court by phone during the hearing, and repeated her desire to end the conservatorship. She claimed her father, Jamie Spears, and others involved in the conservatorship had threatened her, and added ... "There should be no threats to me at all, ever. I have serious abandonment issues."

At times she seemed to ramble about other horrible things that have happened to her -- claiming "they" took away her hair vitamins, her coffee, and her car keys after she got a traffic ticket. It was hard to tell the timing of those events. She also broke down in tears, saying she wanted Jamie removed from the conservatorship today and requested her father be investigated for "conservator abuse."

Britney's brand new attorney, Rosengart, was in the courtroom and said if Jamie loved his daughter, "he would resign today."

Britney made a point of saying she's fine with Jodi Montgomery remaining her personal conservator.

A BIG STEP TOWARDS JUSTICE
TMZ.com

Jamie's attorney reiterated his belief that Montgomery is responsible for several of the things Britney complained about during her previous testimony ... like her desire to remove the IUD and get married.

So, for those keeping score -- the judge approved the resignation of Sam Ingham, Brit's previous attorney, and ditto for Besemer Trust quitting as co-conservator of the estate. That leaves Jamie as sole conservator of her estate, Jodi as her personal conservator ... and Rosengart as Britney's new attorney.

3:04 PM PT -- Score one for Britney. The judge ruled she can hire Mathew Rosengart to represent her in the conservatorship.

1:43 PM PT -- The courtroom is now closed, and hearing has started. Check back here -- we will have updates as soon as they take a break or the hearing ends. There's really no telling how long the proceedings will last.

Britney Spears is hoping it's "out with the old and in with the new" in her conservatorship -- a new hearing in the case is going down, and her new hand-picked attorney will have the spotlight.

The judge in Brit's conservatorship will hear arguments Wednesday in downtown L.A. on several issues -- the most important one to Britney -- is who will be her attorney going forward.

TAKING TO THE STREETS
TMZ.com

Like we first told you ... Britney's longtime lawyer, Sam Ingham, filed paperwork seeking to get out of the case, and she's already decided she wants former federal prosecutor Mathew Rosengart to be her new attorney.

TMZ broke the story ... Britney wants to hire Rosengart, of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, and he's expected to make an appearance before the judge to make his pitch for getting the job. We're told he'll argue she has a right to choose her own attorney on her own accord, without her father, Jamie, getting in the way as conservator of her estate.

Keep in mind, Jamie's probably a bit conflicted because Rosengart will likely seek to remove Jamie as conservator of Britney's estate.

We're told his plan is to explain how Britney has a constitutional right to Due Process ... which includes being able to select counsel of her choice. That certainly exists in a criminal case, and it’s likely Rosengart will argue that the conservatorship is similar to a criminal case because it deprives Britney of her personal liberty.

Remember ... the last hearing had all kinds of fireworks ... as Britney testified before the judge -- accusing her family of using her and controlling her life via the conservatorship, including allegedly forcing her to tour.

She claims she hasn't been able to get married or have any further kids -- which she apparently wants with Sam Asghari -- and made it clear ... she wants to be done with the conservatorship..

We're monitoring the proceedings as they go on, plus the commotion outside -- as there are #FreeBritney protestors who've gathered, like they have done for months now. There are also protestors gathered in D.C.

WASHINGTON D.C.
SUPPORT FROM THE CAPITAL
TMZ.com

Stay tuned ...

Originally Published -- 1:00 PM PT

Jake Paul I Don't Feel Bad For Conor McGregor ... 'He's A Piece Of S***!'

HE DESERVED IT
TMZSports.com

"He's a piece of s***. He's sitting there on the ground after losing, talking s*** to Dustin Poirier's wife. I don't feel bad at all."

That's Jake Paul expressing exactly ZERO remorse for Conor McGregor ... and his snapped leg.

TMZ Sports talked to the YouTuber turned boxing superstar in Los Angeles ... at a press conference for his big August 29 fight with ex-UFC champ Tyron Woodley (much more to come on that soon).

We asked Jake -- who's got big beef with the Irish superstar -- for his thoughts on McGregor's gruesome injury ... and Paul didn't mince his words.

"I think he's an evil man, and he had what was coming for him."

NEXT-LEVEL TROLLING

We also talked to Jake about his $100k Sleepy McGregor pendant ... and asked if JP was really sending the 6 figure bling to Poirier.

"I think he deserves it. I think it’s hilarious. I hope he takes a picture with it and posts it on Instagram. I just love to see McGregor plummet. He was a meteoric star that’s now just taking a nosedive. Before I wanted to fight him and I offered him $50 million, now my offer is $23."

In fact, Jake says he tried to break the lower leg off the chain ... but couldn't do it.

"I tried to snap off the ankle on it. After the fight I took a rock and tried to smash it. It wouldn’t break, honestly. The chain is more solid than McGregor."

Ice cold.

Britney Spears Lawyer She Wants Agrees to Rep Her Appears in Court Wednesday to Mount Fight

Britney Spears has decided who she wants as her lawyer to end the conservatorship, and the attorney has now agreed and will appear in court Wednesday -- arguing she has a right to the lawyer of her choice ... TMZ has learned.

We broke the story ... Britney signed a legal doc stating her desire to hire the mega law firm of Greenberg Traurig, LLP to represent her in her effort to boot Jamie Spears from the conservatorship -- the first step in attempting to end the conservatorship altogether.

As we reported, Britney had her sights set on hiring a partner in the firm -- former federal prosecutor Mathew Rosengart, who reps a slew of celebrity clients, including Steven Spielberg, Ben Affleck, Jimmy Butler and Sean Penn.

Multiple sources with direct knowledge tell TMZ ... Rosengart has now agreed and will appear remotely during a court hearing Wednesday, asking the judge to appoint him.

The catch 22 is that Britney cannot sign contracts of any substance without the approval of her conservator, Jamie Spears, the man she wants out.

We're told Rosengart will make the argument Britney has a Constitutional right to the lawyer of her choice. Defendants in criminal cases have a Constitutional right to an attorney, but a conservatorship is not a criminal case. Thing is ... it's not a civil case either. It's a hybrid ... somewhere in between.

We're told Rosengart's argument goes like this ... Britney is entitled to due process, which includes the right to a competent lawyer, and a judge would be hard-pressed to conclude Rosengart doesn't have the legal chops to rep her. What's more ... he'll argue it's absurd for Jamie Spears to have the power to disapprove Britney's choice, because the very purpose of the representation is to get him out of the conservatorship.

As we reported ... getting Jamie out is the first step in ending the conservatorship, which has been in place for more than 13 years.

WHAT DO WE WANT? #FREEBRITNEY
TMZ.com

The real battle will come if and when there's a motion to end the conservatorship. Britney said in court last month she wanted that done without further medical evaluation, but that's a tough sell to the judge because several dozen medical professionals have weighed in regularly over the years she has a mental illness that makes a conservatorship necessary.

We reached out to Rosengart for comment ... so far, no word back.

Roger Federer Pulls Out Of Tokyo Olympics ... My Knee Is Messed Up

Tennis' G.O.A.T. will not be in Tokyo for this summer's Olympics ... 'cause Roger Federer has just pulled out of the event due to a knee injury.

The 39-year-old made the announcement Tuesday ... saying he's suffered a setback on his right knee -- the same knee he had procedures on back in 2020.

"During the grass court season, I unfortunately experienced a setback with my knee, and have accepted that I must withdraw from the Tokyo Olympic Games," Federer said.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

"I am greatly disappointed, as it has been an honor and highlight of my career each time I have represented Switzerland."

Federer -- who just lost in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon earlier this month -- said he has already begun rehabbing and is clearly hoping to still participate in the U.S. Open in August.

"I have already begun rehabilitation in the hopes of returning to the tour later this summer," Federer said. "I wish the entire Swiss team the best of luck and I will be rooting hard from afar."

Federer has had big success in the Olympic in his career ... he won a gold medal in the doubles event at the 2008 Beijing Games and then a silver medal in the singles event in the 2012 London Games.

Federer did not compete in the 2016 Rio Olympics due to a knee injury.

The list of tennis stars who will not be in Tokyo this summer, meanwhile, is now growing rapidly ... in addition to Federer, Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios have all pulled out of the event.

The Games are slated to start on July 23.

Max Holloway Trilogy Fight vs. Dustin Poirier ... 'That'd Be Good Fun'

THAT WOULD BE FUN ...
TMZSports.com

Forget Conor McGregor-Dustin Poirier 4 ... there's another UFC star who has unfinished business with "The Diamond" -- former champ, Max Holloway.

TMZ Sports talked to 29-year-old Holloway as he was leaving the T-Mobile Arena after UFC 264 ... and we asked the greatest 145-pounder in UFC history whether he's interested in scrapping with Dustin for a third time.

"That’d be good fun. That’d be good fun. Watch out mother Russia," Holloway tells us.

So, will it happen?? Max says that's on Dana White and the UFC match makers.

"I mean that’s up to the UFC. That’s up to the UFC."

Remember, Dustin beat Max twice. He submitted MH via armbar in 2012 -- when both were young fighters. They rematched in 2019 ... and Poirier won by unanimous decision. Dustin started the 2nd fight very strong ... but Max came on late -- in what was a great fight.

We also got Max's thoughts on Conor's gruesome leg injury ... and at the time, Holloway was unsure if McGregor would ever step foot in the Octagon again.

"It’s depressing man. You don’t wish bad luck on anybody like, or a career-ending injury like that. So, I don’t know hopefully Conor comes back, and we see what happens."

MLB Home Run Derby Fan Lands On Head Diving For Ball ... But Somehow Avoids Catastrophe

An MLB fan flipped over some railing and crash-landed onto his head trying to track down a Home Run Derby ball Monday ... but somehow, the dude escaped with no serious injuries.

The wild spill happened early in the MLB's long-ball event at Coor's Field in Denver ... when A's star Matt Olson cranked a dinger deep into the stadium's right field upper deck.

The man could be seen on the broadcast reaching over some railing to try to catch the ball ... but when he stretched just a little too far, he tumbled to the concrete below.

The scene was actually pretty terrifying ... the guy fell multiple feet and landed VERY awkwardly -- but he explained afterward he somehow avoided catastrophe in the tumble.

"It was coming right through here," the fan said, breaking down his thought process of chasing after the ball. "And I got up and tried to go over the railing to get it."

The fan said he suffered some scrapes on his elbow, but otherwise, came out of the spill just fine.

But, the dude said he didn't even get to come away with the baseball ... adding, "Never ended up getting it."

SAD!!!!!

By the way, the Derby was awesome this year ... Pete Alonso, Trey Mancini, Juan Soto and Shohei Ohtani all put on amazing shows -- with Pete ultimately coming out on top for the second time in a row at the event.

Props to the guys for the fun evening!!

Lisa Vanderpump Dog Foundation Sued ... Your Puppy Gave Me Worms, Violently!!!

Lisa Vanderpump's dog rescue organization -- Vanderpump Dog Foundation -- sold a puppy infested with worms to a woman who contracted the intestinal parasites herself ... so she claims in a stomach-churning new lawsuit.

According to legal docs obtained by TMZ ... the woman visited the Vanderpump Dogs location in L.A. in July 2019 to adopt a small puppy. She says she hit it off with a dachshund named Cassie after being assured by the staff it was perfectly safe to hold her and play with her, despite the dog not yet receiving deworming treatment.

She claims she spent several hours with the pup, then was asked if she wanted to adopt her and she did ... and the adoption was approved the very next day.

According to the docs ... the woman asked several questions about Cassie's health and was assured by Vanderpump Dogs employees she was getting a "puppy in healthy condition" with all needed treatments and shots.

However, the woman alleges that the dog rescue provided her with a false immunization record and a false certificate stating Cassie had been dewormed, and once she got the dog home ... she says things got REALLY gross (fair warning for the squeamish).

According to the docs ... Cassie's new owner immediately noticed she was acting odd, was less playful, and kept scooting across the floor. Then, the woman claims she discovered Cassie was "expelling large live worms while defecating."

The woman claims she contacted Vanderpump Dogs but got no immediate response, so she took the dog to a pet hospital, where it was treated for a serious worm infection.

It gets much worse -- the woman says she began feeling ill over the next few days, and then to her horror ... she began expelling "live worms and eggs from her mouth, vagina and anus."

She claims she was diagnosed with intestinal parasites and had to get a strong medication due to the seriousness of the infestation. She says, along with making her gravely ill, she's been traumatized and still suffers from emotional distress, disgust and nightmares.

The woman is suing the Vanderpump Dog Foundation for negligence and fraud. We reached out to the organization ... no word back yet.

Tom Cruise Snaps Pics w/ Fans Outside Wembley ... Keep Your Distance, Folks

Tom Cruise made the rounds in London for the city's mega sports weekend, but he was still mindful of COVID-19 protocols ... at least while mingling with fans.

A day after Ethan Hunt dropped in for the Wimbledon women's singles final, he made his way over to Wembley Stadium to watch the Euro 2020 final between England and Italy.

CRUISIN' FOR PICS
UnBoxPHD / SplashNews.com

Tom was all smiles as he obliged some fan requests for a quick pic before he headed in to watch the match Sunday evening, but take a look ... he was also very cautious about it.

The "Mission Impossible" star kept his mask on until it was time to say cheese, and even then he mostly kept his distance ... telling folks to keep a flying-V formation.

As you may know ... the Delta variant has been responsible for the most coronavirus infections in England recently, so it seems Cruise is taking that risk seriously.

Then again, once he was inside Wembley Tom ditched the mask and showed off his famous face ... while sitting near other famous faces, like Kate Moss and David Beckham.

Cruise really took advantage of being in England this weekend while shooting "M:I 7" ... as we reported, he and his co-stars also attended a Wimbledon finals match on Saturday.

Didn't look like he was super concerned about COVID then, but probably felt more comfortable around his co-workers.

NFL's Mike Hughes Vomited All Over Teammate's Car During '19 Stop ... Police Video Shows

YAK ATTACK
TMZSports.com

NFL cornerback Mike Hughes blew chunks all over his former teammate Jayron Kearse's Mercedes while Kearse was being arrested for DWI back in 2019 ... and the gross scene was all captured on police video.

The footage was just released to TMZ Sports this week ... and it's pretty nasty -- showing Hughes vomiting multiple times while cops arrested Kearse, Hughes' then-Minnesota Vikings defensive backfield-mate, on October 27, 2019, in Minneapolis.

You can see in the video, after cops pulled over Kearse for allegedly bypassing a barricade and illegally driving on a highway that was closed off for construction at around 3:15 AM, Hughes began throwing up from the backseat of Kearse's car.

In the footage, it's clear as day, as cops detained Kearse ... Hughes continuously opened the rear passenger door and unloaded the contents of his stomach.

The video shows cops saying they believe Hughes was yacking due to having consumed too much alcohol earlier in the evening.

Kearse, meanwhile, can be seen in the footage appearing to bomb field sobriety tests ... and at one point, one officer says in the video the football player failed a breathalyzer test too.

In the clip, cops say Kearse had a BAC of .124, well above the legal limit of .08, so they arrested him -- and when they went back to check on Hughes in the car, they say they found a loaded gun in the vehicle beneath Hughes' feet.

Fortunately for Hughes, cops say Kearse ultimately fessed up to owning the firearm without a permit ... so Hughes didn't end up in any trouble.

Kearse, though, was taken to the station and ultimately hit with five misdemeanor charges, including DWI and possession of a pistol while under the influence of alcohol.

27-year-old Kearse -- who left the Vikings following the 2019 season to play for the Detroit Lions -- went on to strike a plea deal with prosecutors in the case back in February 2020.

He's since signed on to play for the Dallas Cowboys in 2021.

24-year-old Hughes, meanwhile, stayed with the Vikings through the 2019 and 2020 seasons after the incident ... but he was traded in May to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Both Hughes -- a 1st-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft -- and Kearse were teammates in Minnesota from 2018 through 2019.

Conor McGregor Undergoes Successful Surgery on Broken Leg ... Rod, Plate & Screws To Repair

7:09 PM PT -- Conor just Tweeted following his operation, writing ... "Just out of the surgery room guys! Surgery went excellent! Feeling tremendous! 6 weeks on crutch and we build back! Let’s go! God bless 🙏"

Conor McGregor just underwent a successful 3.5-hour surgery in Los Angeles ... where doctors inserted a rod in his tibia and his fibula was fixed with plates and screws, sources tell TMZ Sports.

McGregor -- who suffered the gruesome lower leg injury during his fight with Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 -- was transported to Cedars-Sinai hospital in L.A. where he underwent the procedure this afternoon.

Sources tell us Conor had an intramedullary rod inserted in the tibia ... along with a small plate and screws attached to the fibula.

The surgery went "very well," according to our sources ... and the early prognosis for McGregor looks promising.

Dr. Ellatrache -- head of Sports Trauma at Cedars -- and trauma orthopedic surgeon Milton Little performed the procedure.

We're told Conor is expected to remain in the hospital until Tuesday or Wednesday.

Originally Published  -- 7/11 4:29 PM PT

Garth Brooks Stadium Shows Back with Vegas Concert ... 'Greatest Feeling!!!'

GARTH GATHERS GIANT CROWD
10pmStalker, Richen Famous / YouTube

Garth Brooks is putting the pandemic in his rearview -- and he wants other musicians to follow his lead -- after he packed the stadium home of the Las Vegas Raiders.

Garth played to a sold-out crowd of 68,000 Saturday night at Allegiant Stadium ... making it the first major stadium concert since COVID-19 shutdowns began more than a year ago. If the country superstar had any rust, the audience couldn't tell as they cheered through more than 2 hours worth of live music.

The only person more excited than fans was Garth, who said, "To every musician out there, all I can say is get back in the game because it’s the greatest feeling in the world." It's been more than 500 days since his last live gig, and he told the crowd, "I’ve never been made to feel at home as quickly as you guys have made me feel.”

There was one reminder of the COVID-19 pandemic ... a disclaimer on Garth's website for all ticket-holders that read, “Purchaser assumes Covid risk. All Covid rules apply.”

Las Vegas has been wide open since June 1, so there were no COVID rules to apply for this show. Next up for Garth is another stadium concert, next week in Salt Lake City.

It's interesting ... Vegas had packed houses all weekend -- besides Garth's show, UFC 264 was going on at the T-Mobile arena ... plus Dave Chappelle and Justin Bieber had sold-out shows too.

Talk about battle-testing the COVID-19 vaccines.

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