Late in Saturday’s game, Lynx rookie forward Jessica Shepard went up for a shot, was fouled by Tierra Ruffin-Pratt and came down awkwardly on her right knee.

Shepard fell to the floor in pain.

Moments later, she was helped off the Target Center floor. She is scheduled to have a magnetic resonance imaging exam on the knee Sunday. Until then, all her teammates can do is hope for the best.

“It’s really unfortunate,” fellow rookie Napheesa Collier said after the Lynx lost 89-85 to Los Angeles. “We don’t know what’s going on yet. We’re praying for her, and for a quick recovery.”

Shepard, a key reserve, is averaging 4.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists. She had six points, five assists and four rebounds when she got hurt Saturday, and was a team-best plus-11.

“Obviously she’s hurting,” coach Cheryl Reeve said.

The 6-3 Shepard, a second-round draft choice out of Notre Dame, had emerged as a key reserve in the post. Her passing ability and strong defense had been a big part of the Lynx’s strong start.

Shepard tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee in December 2014, her senior year at Fremont (Neb.) High School. She was able to return to play for Nebraska the following season, averaging 18.5 points and 8.6 rebounds as a freshman for the Cornhuskers, where she played two seasons before transferring to Notre Dame, where she won a national title last year.

KENT YOUNGBLOOD