Okay, I’ll be honest. Very little happened in the WNBA yesterday that was remotely worth talking or writing about. Which is why this update is so late – I was waiting for inspiration to strike. It didn’t. So instead, I present a collated WNBA injury update, covering all the people on rosters who are currently known to be hurt, missing, or potentially out. Thought this might be useful to some people, at least. Back to normal updates tomorrow.
The roster, as far as I know, is fairly healthy. Angel McCoughtry’s been back for six games now, starting for five, and appears to be pretty much all the way back. The only current absence is Sancho Lyttle, still featuring for Spain at EuroBasket Women in Poland. The good news for Dream fans is that Spain got creamed by France yesterday, and an upset loss to Latvia tomorrow could leave them in danger of missing the quarter-finals. It’s still unlikely, but at least vaguely plausible. Should Spain get knocked out at the current stage, Lyttle might well make it back to the US for the June 30th game at home to New York, rather than having to wait for the July 9th game in Chicago to make her return.
Sandora Irvin or Kelly Mazzante are currently looking like more likely suspects to be released when Lyttle returns than the recently signed Courtney Paris. Don’t forget that Belorussian center Yelena Leuchanka, also currently featuring at EuroBasket, is also expected to join the Dream at some point. Then it’ll be Paris or whichever’s left from Irvin/Mazzante that goes.
New emerged today that Dominique Canty has just had arthroscopic surgery on her left knee, which is expected to sideline her for three weeks (and in my experience they usually underestimate). Theoretically they’ll be missing their first guard off the bench, Vandersloot’s backup, and a veteran leader in the locker room. In reality, Canty’s not been doing much on the court that was worth anything this season, and Epiphanny Prince is perfectly comfortable sliding over to the point, so I don’t expect them to miss her much.
The rest of the roster appears to be healthy, although rookie Angie Bjorklund seems utterly cuttable if there’s anyone else around that they feel like bringing in.
Essentially all in one piece, it would seem. Kara Lawson only missed one game with her ankle sprain, and although she’s come off the bench in the two games since returning, she looks fine. Jessica Moore, picked up off waivers from Indiana right at the start of the season when she was carrying a knee injury, has also started appearing a little lately. She doesn’t exactly look super-quick, but then she never did before she got injured. She’ll add to the Sun’s post depth behind Jones and Charles now that she appears to be ready to play.
The important news here is Katie Douglas, who was injured against Phoenix and missed the next game in Washington on Tuesday. X-rays were negative according to the Fever trainer, and it’s officially a ‘lower back contusion’ and she’s listed as ‘day-to-day’, although that obviously means nothing.
If losing her for a few games can wake up the rest of Indiana’s perimeter players – it seemed to work for
Shavonte Zellous against the Mystics – then Douglas’s injury could be a blessing in disguise.
Healthy. No, seriously. All those old age pensioners on the roster, and this might be the healthiest team in the league right now. Of course, being involved in several blow-outs to start the season has helped – DMJ and Tina Thompson are both averaging about 8 minutes per game less than they did throughout last season.
Also all in one piece, as far as we can tell. Taj McWilliams-Franklin seems to come out of most games at some point with some kind of knock or smack in the face or punch in the gut, but she keeps coming back and keeps coming out for every game.
Seimone Augustus took a nasty hit to the gut herself from a stumbling Rebekkah Brunson in a recent game, which left her down on her haunches on the court for several minutes. That was scary considering the surgery she had in that area last year, but she was right back in the game only minutes later, so presumably it was nothing to worry about. Augustus actually looks increasingly healthy. After watching several games she played for Galatasaray in Turkey over the WNBA offseason, I was worried about her mobility at the WNBA level but she’s had a positive start to the season. 19 trips to the free-throw line in six games isn’t the rate she used to manage in this league, but it’s a hell of a lot higher than she was managing in Europe. That suggests she’s getting increasingly comfortable being aggressive with the ball again, which is very nice to see.
The Libs look largely healthy. One of the ESPN commentators the other night claimed that Cappie Pondexter had suffered from a flu virus she picked up in Russia during the offseason, losing weight and strength as a result. That was the first I’d heard of it anywhere, but I guess in theory it could’ve played a part in Cappie’s poor offensive start to the season. I’m a little dubious though, considering the Russian season finished at the end of April. That would’ve had to have been a seriously nasty virus to still be affecting her by the time the WNBA started in June.
Healthy, as far as we know. The way Diana Taurasi’s been playing though, I can’t say I’d be too surprised if it emerged that she was carrying something. She’s always put up a lot of threes, but Diana’s taken 79 shots so far this year and 37 of them have been from behind the arc. That’s 47%, which is high even for her. And at a mediocre 32% from three-point range, it’s not like that many of them are even going in. It would help out the Merc if she’d take at least a couple more shots going to the hoop, rather than just jacking them up from long range.
DeWanna Bonner had Indiana’s Jessica Davenport basically land on her last week, but somehow got up and carried on playing. Given that, DeWanna must be practically indestructible.
The big issue here is Sophia Young, who missed the Silver Stars’ last game against Phoenix due to illness. Good news is she practiced today, says she feels fine now, and is expected to be ready to go against LA tomorrow night.
Everyone else is fine. Still short (apart from Ruth Riley), but fine.
Probably the biggest and most worrying injury news so far this season, was last year’s MVP Lauren Jackson leaving their last game against Tulsa with a left hip injury. The news that she’d already had a shot in the area to relieve pain only added to the concerns. So far, the news emerging from the Storm camp is limited. There was an MRI carried out on Wednesday, and nothing much said about it from official sources except that there would be ‘more tests’ conducted on her hip today.
All we’ve gotten since then is that she is ‘day-to-day’ with a ‘left hip strain’. Both of those phrases could mean practically anything, but it has at least been confirmed that she will not be playing against Minnesota tomorrow night. We’ll have to wait and see how many other games she might miss.
Storm broadcaster, former player and all-purpose motor-mouth Adia Barnes has mentioned that several other Storm players have been fighting off minor ailments of various kinds as well, but they seemed like the kind of things that only crop up when you’re losing. No one would be talking about them at all if the Storm had been playing decent basketball from the start this year. Maybe in Jackson’s absence the rest of the squad will step it up.
Amber Holt is still out due to her broken hand, suffered after playing in just two games this season. It was supposed to be four-to-six weeks when she got hurt, and that was two weeks ago, so presumably we’re now down to two-to-four weeks. No actual update though, as far as I’ve seen, from the Shock.
Liz Cambage missed a game due to a concussion suffered when teammate Tiffany Jackson caught her in the face and she hit the ground hard, but has looked fine in the three games since. She’s been coming off the bench, but that seems like a coaching decision more than anything to do with Cambage’s ongoing health.
Andrea Riley has shooter’s disease, but I don’t think that can go in an official medical report.
Nothing much changes here. Monique Currie is still on the roster, and still expected to miss the entire season after tearing the ACL in her left knee. Alana Beard also continues to sit on the sidelines due to the ‘foot sprain’ which is supposedly unrelated to the left ankle tendon surgery that kept her out for the entire 2010 season. I’ve heard so many different stories, prognoses and return dates for Beard at this point that I’ve given up guessing, and I’ll simply believe she’s back when we actually see her enter a game in uniform.
The one bit of good news for the Mystics lately was that rookie center Ta’Shia Phillips returned from her own ankle tendon injury, and has played a few minutes in each of their last two games. She looks slow, but based on the few minutes I’d seen of her in action before the injury, I think that may just be her natural speed. Kerri Gardin, the player signed by Washington as an emergency replacement, had to be released as soon as Phillips returned.
In other news…
That link I posted yesterday for the voting for the Top 15 Players in WNBA History did indeed go live today, and now works. The official instructions say that ‘players should be selected on the basis of overall contribution to the WNBA since its inception in 1997, including such factors as on-court performance, leadership, sportsmanship and community service, as well as contributions to team success’. Vote away, if you’re so inclined.
Great Britain ladies lost a heartbreaker by a point today to Lithuania in EuroBasket Women. Anyone who follows me on twitter, that’s what the “I fel sick” tweet was about. Yes, I was that upset that I not only felt sick, but I couldn’t even spell ‘feel’.
Today’s Games (already completed):
New York @ Tulsa, 12.30pm ET
Connecticut @ Chicago, 8pm ET