As she enters her WNBA offseason, Seattle Storm forward Swin Cash has a decision to make with regards to her back, which has bothered her much of the last two seasons and became especially painful late in the 2008 regular season, forcing Cash to miss the Storm’s last three games and limiting her in the playoffs.
“I have a herniated disc that has been pressing on the sciatic nerve,” Cash explained to the media Wednesday. “For anyone who has that, it’s very painful.
“I’ve been able to control it most of the season, but something just kind of happened in that Minnesota game (on Sept. 6) that irritated it.”
Doctors advised Cash not to play in the Storm’s series against the Los Angeles Sparks, but she soldiered through the pain and contributed in a reserve role. Now, Cash is scheduled to head overseas to begin playing overseas for USK Praha in Prague (the same team Storm center Janell Burse played for the last three seasons before moving to Russia for this winter) in mid-October, meaning she must make a decision on what is in store within the next couple of weeks.
“I think, obviously, surgery could be an option,” said Cash. “Do you wait it out? Do rehab? Just a lot of different things. I’ve seen some of the best specialists in the country, got a lot of different opinions. I guess it’s pretty much me praying on it and determining what’s the best route to take right now. I’ve played and I feel like I’ve gotten a little bit better, so I don’t know if you want to jump right into surgery, if that’s the answer.”
If Cash did undergo surgery, she indicated the recovery time would be around 8-12 weeks with the possibility of an aggressive rehab schedule getting her back on the court sooner rather than later.
“It wouldn’t be something that would be drastic and keep me out for a long period of time,” Cash said.
Aside from the situation with her back, Cash has been looking forward to playing overseas after spending recent offseasons working out in the U.S. and broadcasting for ESPN.
“I obviously wanted to spend a little more time playing at a higher level,” she said. “I can train here and I can go play with the guys. In Miami, I played pickup, (partner) Chafie (Fields) and I and played with Ruth (Riley) sometimes when she was down there. But to get overseas and to get that high-level competition was what I really wanted to do to get me back to that level that I know I’m able to play at in this league consistently. That was the biggest reason why I wanted to go over there.”
- We had a chance to speak to 10 of the Storm’s 13 players today. Lauren Jackson will do her exit interview tomorrow, while Yolanda Griffith’s has yet to be scheduled. Sheryl Swoopes wished to speak to the media tomorrow, when Head Coach Brian Agler and CEO Karen Bryant will also wrap up the season.
- OK, the Kelly Santos story mentioned in my main story on the Storm’s disappointment and how much players enjoyed being teammates deserves more explanation. I’ll attempt to do it justice. When the Storm went down to Los Angeles for Game 1 of the playoff series, the team stayed in a different hotel than in the previous two trips to L.A. This will prove critical.
When the team arrived at LAX, Santos left to spend the evening with friends watching Brazilian movies. They brought her back to the hotel the team had stayed at previously, and Santos spent the night there. On Thursday morning, Santos went to the room of Equipment Manager Danielle Yellam to get her gear for practice only to get no answer at Yellam’s room number. After a phone call, Santos finally realized she was in the wrong place.
With little time to spare, Santos hightailed it over to the Storm’s new hotel via taxi and was able to make the team bus to practice. It was only then, Sue Bird explained, that teammates got inquisitive as to how Santos’ roommate (Kristen O’Neill) could allow such a mix-up. When O’Neill said Santos had never shown up, they got suspicious.
“After reviewing the whole story,” said Bird, “we’re like, ‘So, where did you stay last night?’”
That’s when Santos had to come clean about staying at the other hotel.
The great unresolved question of this whole story remains how Santos was able to check in to the other hotel and spend the night. Apparently she was told at the front desk that her team was staying there. What team? Impossible to say.
“Somebody there needs to be fired,” Bird joked. “How crazy is that? By far highlight of the year.”
Santos was a little less thrilled the story went public, saying with a grin that Bird was not her friend if she was telling everyone.
“I really work with nice people,” Santos said, glad Agler wasn’t upset. “Everything’s OK for them, it’s not a problem.
“So, that’s my story. I have to write a book.”