What Anne Donovan calls “by far the strangest camp I’ve ever had” got, in her mind, the worst-case scenario when Tanisha Wright suffered a pulled groin during Saturday’s practice. Wright had been expected to almost all the reps at point guard after the Storm waived Yolanda Paige earlier Saturday.
“It’s a pulled groin, so it’s going to take some time to heal her,” said Storm Coach Anne Donovan. “She’s doing what she can do – she’s in the pool, she’s on the bike. But I’m committed – as I hope T is – to make sure this thing is healed before we put her back out there. T is such a worker and so antsy that that’s my biggest concern, is that she tries to come back too soon.”
“Right now, it feels good and I’ll take it as slow as I need to take it to get back,” said Wright, who is admittedly frustrated to have to miss time following a productive first week of training camp.
Without Wright, the Storm’s options at the point are limited.
“Fortunately, we have a good practice player (Jason) that’s a smart player and knows our system, so we’re continuing to use him with our perimeter players rotating in,” said Donovan. “We’re getting great reps, so these players are getting great preparation right now. They’re going to be very ready come time for Lauren and JB and Betty and Sue to come back.”
Rookie Katie Gearlds has also worked at the point for the Storm.
“Katie’s done great at the point,” said Donovan. “We really haven’t put her in too much full-court. She did some today. It’s really about her getting comfortable there, but she’s doing a great job.”
The Storm is getting its regulars back slowly. A second starter, center Janell Burse, will arrive tonight. Burse will practice tomorrow, with that session moved back to 1-4 p.m. to allow her to complete a physical prior to the session.
The hope is that Betty Lennox will be back by the end of the week, before the Storm travels to Indiana for the preseason.
The news is not good on Barbara Turner, whose team, Fenerbahce, is playing in the Turkish TBBL Finals. That series will start later this week, which could push Turner’s return to the middle of next week. Meanwhile, Shyra Ely is in camp and gaining on Turner with every practice she completes.
“I temper that,” explained Donovan, “with we know Barbara well – she’s been with us for a year. We’ve invested a lot in Barb. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed she’s not here. We’re just going to play the scenario out and see when it is she shows up.”