Doctors expecting full recovery in 4-6 weeks

Mercury Center Tangela Smith Undergoes Successful Surgery

Posted: Aug. 12, 2008

Mercury starting center and 2007 WNBA Champion Tangela Smith underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on her right knee this morning, the club announced today. Team Doctor Evan Lederman performed the surgery, and a full recovery is expected in 4-6 weeks.

The 6-4 center and 11-year veteran was one of four Phoenix players to start all 34 games last season and has appeared in the starting lineup in each of her 25 games in 2008 (missed two games from June 11-14). Smith is the Mercury’s third-leading scorer this season, averaging 11.1 points per game, while recording a team-high 7.9 rebounds (10th - WNBA).

“I hate to lose Tangela for a few weeks while she rehabs from this surgery, but knew that it was something that needed to be done and, in the long run, it is the best decision to keep her healthy,” said Mercury Head Coach Corey Gaines. “I’m confident that her rehabilitation will be quick due to her determination as a competitor and I can’t wait to have her back on the court. She really extends our offense with the way she shoots and runs the floor.”

Smith is one of just eight players in WNBA history to record 4,000 career points and ranks eighth on the league’s all-time scoring list. She is the Mercury’s most seasoned veteran as she has appeared in 347 career games, ranking third on the league’s all-time list for games played behind Vickie Johnson’s WNBA-most 372 games and Murriel Page’s 348 contests. Her 9,961 career minutes also ranks sixth all-time in the WNBA.

Currently in her second year in Phoenix, Smith was originally acquired by the Mercury on draft day in 2007 for the rights to No. 1 overall pick Lindsey Harding. The Iowa product owns career averages of 11.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.3 blocks.

The Mercury continue team workouts and practices during the month-long hiatus before playing host to the San Antonio Silver Stars on August 28 at 7 p.m. for Back to School night. That matchup will be broadcast on FSN Arizona. Tickets are on sale for the Mercury’s four remaining home games. Lower level tickets start at $10.