The Minnesota Lynx formally confirmed what many feared when rookie ahead Jessica Shepard went down with a non-contact knee damage on Saturday afternoon at Target Center.
In a press release launched by the group Sunday afternoon, the Lynx introduced that Shepard has a torn ACL in her proper knee and can have surgical procedure at a to-be-determined date.
The damage, suffered within the second half of Saturday’s loss to the Los Angeles Sparks, will sideline Shepard for the rest of the 2019 WNBA season.
Lynx’s Shepard injured her leg on touchdown, was helped off the court docket pic.twitter.com/24wFkTwXU1
— Board Man Gets Paid (@cjzero) June eight, 2019
The damage clearly comes as a giant blow to each Minnesota and the promising younger rookie, who was off to a quick begin in her first skilled season after being chosen within the second spherical of the 2019 WNBA Draft.
Leading as much as her damage, the No. 16 total pick of Notre Dame was averaging four.eight factors, 5.7 rebounds and three.5 assists in 18.7 minutes per recreation off the bench.
Since the beginning of the season, Shepard has supplied the Lynx with a pleasant set off the bench throughout the second unit.
She’ll be again.
She’ll be stronger than ever.
Get effectively quickly, @JShepard32 ☘️ pic.twitter.com/MuoKR4ifUB
— Minnesota Lynx (@minnesotalynx) June 9, 2019
Although her stats haven’t essentially been eye-popping as much as the purpose of her damage, her impression on the ground was obvious by way of infinite hustle performs, power and a whatever-it-takes mentality.
The damage to Shepard will additional complicate issues throughout the Minnesota rotation, particularly on the wing place, till it will get its total roster again and wholesome this season.
Seimone Augustus is already out indefinitely for the Lynx with a knee damage that required surgical procedure at the start of the common season and Karima Christmas-Kelly has solely performed in a single recreation up to now for Minnesota after lacking time with a knee damage and a private method.
The Lynx are additionally ready for the return of wing Cecilia Zandalasini, who remains to be wrapping up her abroad commitments earlier than making her means again to Minnesota and the WNBA this summer time.
When all of these gamers return, the Lynx will have the ability to higher fill out their rotation and unfold their gamers among the many beginning and bench items. But till then, they are going to proceed to run skinny on the place, and the information of Shepard lacking the remainder of the 12 months throws one other wrench into that. It might be a workforce effort to fill the void left by the rookie.
Lexie Brown, who has been enjoying effectively of late, might be required to step up much more and proceed to offer Minnesota with much-needed offense off the bench. We may additionally see gamers reminiscent of Stephanie Talbot and Alaina Coates, two gamers the workforce traded for proper earlier than the beginning of the season, achieve some extra day off the bench.
How the Lynx transfer ahead from this level is but to be seen. But though her stats weren’t spectacular by way of the primary few weeks of the common season, Shepard’s absence will definitely be missed inside Minnesota’s lineup the remainder of the summer time.
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