Alana Beard Continues Her Fight

In sports, injuries often play a large role in an athlete’s career. What sometimes gets overlooked by the casual observer is the process that an athlete goes through when rehabbing from that injury. The rehab process is normally not seen in the public eye and therefore it opens the door for plenty of speculation about a player’s health.

For Mystics guard Alana Beard, the rehab process can’t possibly be understood by anyone except for Alana herself. After missing the entire 2010 season with an ankle injury, Beard spent nearly an entire calendar year rehabbing for the 2011 campaign. She then made her comeback to the court for two preseason games earlier this year, but has since suffered another injury which has kept her sidelined for the first 17 games of the 2011 season. This time, it is a sprained foot which has prevented the Mystics' all-star guard from playing.

As someone who is used to competing nearly every day of her life, this process has obviously been difficult for Beard.

“It’s been tough of course, sitting out and wanting to be out there with the girls, but I think I’m doing everything that I possibly can to make sure I motivate them, encourage them, and be here for them” said Beard.

Alana continues to make progress as she tries to rejoin her teammates and make a return to the court. She has been working relentlessly with team trainer Navin Hettiarachchi to have her foot healthy enough for live action.

“We’ve been doing a lot and it has been a bit repetitive like any other rehab. I go back at it, I do the same thing again, I try it out and then I reinjure it and it has just been that type of repetitiveness that has been disappointing. But, at the same time I understand there is a brighter side at the end” said the Mystics guard.

Although being out of game action is certainly disappointing for Beard, she is able to put the injury in perspective with life.

“I just come in and stay positive. I just say great things to myself every single day and I get up and always thank God for another day because it could definitely be worse and that’s my outlook on everything.”

The positive outlook is something Beard tries to portray to her teammates and the organization. This is likely the most difficult period of her career, yet she still manages to bring energy to the Mystics bench.

“I’ve always encouraged my teammates. I always pick out a few things here and there as teaching points. We have a young team and I can see the game sitting on the sidelines and understand it from a players’ perspective. So being there for them, talking to them, and taking them through practices and games are just some things I’ve always done.”

The Mystics are hopeful that Beard will be able to play again sometime in the near future and that she will be a major contributor for the second half of the season. She may be just what the doctor ordered for a team trying to climb up in the standings.