Catchings to Miss Saturday's Game with Lower Back Injury

INDIANAPOLIS (June 22, 2013) – All-Star and Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings will miss Saturday’s Indiana Fever game against the Chicago Sky due to a lower back strain. Catchings is the sixth different Fever player, in just seven games, to miss a game this season.

Catchings will be listed as day-to-day for the following week with games against Atlanta (June 25), Tulsa (June 28) and Seattle (June 30).

Durable through most of the past 11 active seasons, Catchings snaps a string of 40 consecutive regular season starts. Saturday’s game is the first regular season or playoff game she has missed since Sept. 11, 2011, when a right knee sprain kept her out of Indiana’s regular season finale against Atlanta. She has started and played in 141 of 142 regular season games since the start of the 2009 season. She also has appeared in all 29 Fever playoff games during that stretch, starting in 28.

Last year, she was the WNBA’s only player to start in every regular season and postseason game, plus every game of the eight-game Olympics tournament – all while winning a third gold medal and earning Finals MVP honors as the Fever won the WNBA championship.

Besides Catchings’ absence against Chicago, four Fever regulars are sidelined until at least mid-July and a fifth player, rookie Layshia Clarendon, recently missed a game due to a sprained ankle.

The Fever foursome with long-term injuries includes Jessica Davenport, Katie Douglas, Erin Phillips and Jeanette Pohlen who combined for 60 starts last year during the regular season and playoffs. Douglas (bulging disc in lower back), Phillips (torn right meniscus) and Pohlen (torn left ACL) are out until mid-July while Davenport (left tibia stress fracture) is out for the season. All four of those players drew starting assignments during the 2012 season while accounting for 43 percent of scoring and 36 percent of rebounding on Indiana’s championship team.