Storm's Tina Thompson out Wednesday, but injuries not as bad as feared
The Storm's second-leading scorer is hobbled by ankle and knee sprains, but should return after Olympic break.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Atlanta @ Seattle, noon
Tina Thompson laid atop a trainer's table to watch Storm practice Tuesday, an ominous sight considering what happened Saturday. The veteran forward writhed in pain after rookie Nnemkadi Ogwumike rolled on her left leg in Los Angeles.
But two evaluations and three days of rest later, fears have subsided into hope. Thompson was diagnosed with a sprained left knee and ankle. Storm coach Brian Agler won't play Thompson against Atlanta (8-9) on Wednesday and doubts she'll play Friday at Phoenix.
But the team's second-leading scorer (10.6) is expected to return after the WNBA's leaguewide break for the London Olympics from July 14 to Aug. 16.
"I thought that I just screwed up my knee completely," said Thompson, who remained in Los Angeles until Monday to have the injury examined. "I was in a lot of pain at first. I thought it was a lot worse than, thankfully, it is."
The Storm's post rotation could also be without starter Ann Wauters. She has a slight tear in her left Achilles, suffered late in a loss at New York on June 30. She missed the team's past four games but participated Tuesday in her second shooting drill since being injured.
"It is progress. It feels a little better, slowly though," said Wauters, who averaged 12.6 points in three games before the injury. "I wish it was faster. It is frustrating to be on the bench ... especially in the post, we could use another body."
If Wauters can't play against the Dream, Agler said he'll start second-year center Ewelina Kobryn. She had 10 points and six rebounds in her first career start, a victory over Phoenix on Sunday.
Even with Wauters, the post rotation will be shallow. Guard Katie Smith played heavy minutes at power forward against the Mercury, and starting forward Camille Little played 33 or more minutes in the past three games despite nagging injuries.
Seattle (8-9) has compensated with outside shooting, with point guard Sue Bird nailing five three-pointers Sunday. Against Atlanta, the Storm will have to shoot well and play great defense.
Olympian Angel McCoughtry of the Dream isn't part of the game plan, however. She remained in Atlanta to rehabilitate a sprained knee. Doctors want her healthy for the London Games.
"The break couldn't come at a better time," said Thompson.
Agler anticipates his roster being completely healthy when practice resumes Aug. 1 for the second half of the WNBA season.
"Some of the people that are playing big minutes for us aren't 100 percent right now," he said. "They're doing a great job of just gutting it out. They know how important these games are for us. ... We've got a scrappy group right now that is hungry, so I see us coming out (Wednesday) with quite a bit of energy."
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or firstname.lastname@example.org