Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Don't Hold Your Breath For Nykesha

Let me preface this entry by saying I have no evidence to support the following beliefs. These opinions are based on my interpretations made in the nearly two weeks since Nykesha Sales last played.
I don’t expect Sales to be back in uniform until August, and probably no earlier than a week or two before the playoffs begin, if then. The postseason starts Aug. 17.
The Sun’s veteran forward spent the end of practice Tuesday riding a stationary bike as her teammates raced back and forth in a full-court scrimmage. I sat down with Sales afterward to see how things were going and she sounded almost as uncertain about her return as coach Mike Thibault did some 15 minutes earlier.
This much we know: Sales is battling a variety of injuries, but her left Achilles is the root of many of the other problems. She’s been diligent about getting the necessary treatment, but as she told me today, the normal rest and recovery for an injury like hers is six to seven weeks.
She’ll be at six weeks when Connecticut opens the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Since she’s not running during rehab, Sales will likely need a practice or two to test the injury and gage the recovery process.
Starting with Thursday’s game against Chicago, which Sales will not play in, the Sun don’t practice again until the earliest next Wednesday. After playing four games in six nights, the team has a two-day break before playing four more games in seven days, concludi.ng Aug. 7 That stretch is followed by another two-day break before three road games in four nights and then a home game two days later.
The regular-season finale is two days later.
The end of the season comes quite fast, maybe even too fast for Sales. If I had a guess, maybe Sales plays in one of the games along the way, but is then scheduled to sit out the next couple regardless of how she performs. Since the Sun will have very few ‘true’ practices left this season, getting into a game with the doctors’ permission may be the only way for Sales to know if she’s capable of being the player she’s always been again this season.


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