No games last night, so I thought we’d take a closer look at the major injuries that have struck around the WNBA lately and how the respective teams might deal with the holes that have suddenly appeared on their rosters. Injuries always play a significant role in the destination of the WNBA championship, and less than a month into the 2011 season they’re already starting to take their toll. However, as always, one person’s misfortune can be another person’s opportunity, so who can the teams find to step up and fill the gap?
LA – Candace Parker
The good thing here is that it’s ‘only’ six weeks that Parker is expected to miss with a torn lateral meniscus in her right knee. In this case, six weeks would cover over a third of the Sparks’ season, but given the ever-present fear of a torn ACL whenever someone goes down clutching their knee, it could’ve easily been worse. The other positive is that four out of the five real basketball teams in the Western Conference have to make the playoffs. Even last year, when only one of them deserved it, the rules said we had to have four. All LA have to do is cling on to one of those other teams and sneak past sometime before September 12th, and then a presumably Parker-led squad can attack the postseason. It’s not like home court is that big an advantage in this league anyway. Continue reading
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.