After a two-week pseudo-training camp, the Seattle Storm is ready to begin focusing on the Houston Comets and the final eight games of the 2008 season. Monday’s practice marked a shift as the Storm had all 11 healthy players on the floor. Center Kelly Santos returned from the Olympics in time for last Friday’s practice; Monday, she was joined by guard Sue Bird and forward Swin Cash. While Bird watched from the sidelines, Cash was on the floor.
“She did a good job today,” said Head Coach Brian Agler. “Just trying to get her up to speed, Sue up to speed in a couple of things we added.”
Agler was pleased with the results of the Storm’s practices during the Olympic break. The team was able to get healthier and also get extensive work together for the eight players who were with the Storm during the break.
“Sheryl (Swoopes) has definitely come back in better shape,” he said. “Yo (Griffith) got refreshed having that the time off. I also think those younger players like Katie (Gearlds) and even Ashley (Robinson) and Shyra (Ely) have really come back and played pretty well in our training camp. I’ve been real pleased with how we’ve played here in practice. I hope it will carry over to the games.”
Though Cash did not participate in the Storm’s practices during the Olympic break, she hopes to see a benefit from the time off when it comes to a back injury that has been highly painful for her the last two seasons.
“The break was a time for me to really rest my back and do the things that we needed to do and get second opinions,” said Cash. “Now I’m going to be back here and train and see what happens.”
Cash acknowledged that she is coming up on long-term decisions about her back and her future. For now, however, she anticipates being able to continue battling through the injury.
“My issue right now is the pain issue and how you can deal with tolerance. Both of my doctors have said they don’t understand how I’m playing. I pride myself on being mentally tough and I take care of myself, whether it’s eating-wise, weights, doing certain things. Playing this game is worth it.
“I’m just here to battle with my teammates, and that’s going to be my focus.”