Storm Notebook: Lennox ‘Itching’ to Play

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Storm Takes Step Forward on the Road
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Kevin Pelton, | August 17, 2005
Betty Lennox is excited to visit the doctor tomorrow to get an update on her progress in returning from a partially torn ligament in her left wrist. She's not as excited about the timing of the 7 a.m. visit.

"It's at 7, so I'm not excited at 7, but I'm excited to go see what progress I've made and stuff like that and what's the severity of the tear," Lennox told reporters after the Storm practiced Wednesday.

Over the last week, Lennox has slowly made progress from having her wrist in a splint a week ago. Tomorrow's appointment will determine how quickly she can continue moving back to the court. Her goal remains playing Saturday when the Storm visits Sacramento, but Storm Coach Anne Donovan is taking a more conservative approach.

"I'm itching to get back. I've been asking her every day, 'Can I play? Can I play? Can I play?'"
Jeff Reinking/NBAE/Getty
"Betty is chomping at the bit to get back on the floor, but the reality is that it will take some time to get healthy," Donovan told fans during a chat on yesterday. "We hope she can get back in uniform and on the floor before the end of the season, but that remains to be seen."

"I'm itching to get back," said Lennox. "I've asked Anne, 'Can I play Thursday?' She said, 'You haven't even been cleared by the doctor. How could you play?' I've been asking her every day, 'Can I play? Can I play? Can I play?' She's been telling me to hold out. She wants me to be close to 100% - I'm not going to be 100%, because a tear is not going to heal that fast."

Watching this week's practices without being able to participate has been very difficult for Lennox.

"It's hard to even come to practice knowing I can't participate," she said. "I think the other day, before we had our day off, we did some two-man passing and I jumped in. Anne asked, 'Are you supposed to do this?' I said, 'Just with my right (hand).' It's hard. I want to be a part of everything. You don't feel that closeness with your team anymore because you can't participate. In the meantime, they know I'm working hard to get back and I know they're doing everything possible to maintain the position we have as far as the playoffs are concerned."

Lennox has been able to exercise her left wrist in a pool the last couple of days, and during practices, she's maintaining her conditioning.

"I'm running a whole lot in the meantime," Lennox said. "I'm probably getting just as many repetitions in as they are over there (on the practice court). I'll be in as good shape as they are, game shape."

Lennox is also taking on some other duties at practice to help out.

"I'm the number one cheerleader," she said. "The other day at shootaround, I was walking around with the water, asking everybody if they needed water, opened up the door for them."

If there is a positive in Lennox's injury, it's the opportunity for her other wrist, which was affected by tendinitis, to heal. Lennox also cited the mental aspect of diverting attention from one wrist to the other.

"The tendinitis is better," she said. "With the cortisone shot I took and the anti-inflammatories, it's doing well right now. Also, the other wrist being hurt put the mental focus on the left and off of the right."

LJ Up to Date

What would Lauren Jackson do without the media? During an informative session with reporters, Jackson found out the Los Angeles Sparks had made a coaching change, that Donovan is a win away from 100 victories in her coaching career and that the Storm would move within a win of clinching a playoff spot with a victory tomorrow.

"Wicked!" Jackson responded to the last piece of information. "Awesome!"

With the playoff race still tight in the Western Conference - the second-place Storm and sixth-place Sparks are separated by just three games - Jackson knows motivation will be high on both sides in the Storm's remaining games.

"They've (the Lynx) got so much at stake at the moment, as do we - I know every game leading up to the playoffs is crucial for us to win - but for us to get out there and solidify our spot in the league and on the ladder, we need to do it," said Jackson. "It's all very exciting at the moment, knowing that we're in position to do that when a lot of people thought we couldn't do it."

  • Storm center Janell Burse tweaked her left knee during practice when she stepped awkwardly. She was headed to a doctor afterwards, but told reporters about tomorrow, "I'm guessing I will (play)."