The Lynx knew Rebekkah Brunson was hurting, that she had finished up her season overseas with a lot of pain in her right knee. So the news wasn’t stunning.
The 6-2 forward had arthroscopic surgery on that right knee Tuesday morning, a procedure to correct a ligament condition. She will be out at least two months, which means she could miss 20 or more of her team’s 34 regular-season games.
It is the latest in a string of preseason injuries. The Lynx, so healthy last season, will open the 2014 season with three of their top seven players in the rotation mending from knee surgeries.
“We’ve had our share of really good fortune,” said coach Cheryl Reeve, whose roster missed a total of only six games to injury in 2013. “And it looks like we’re all kind of doing this at once.”
Brunson joins guard Monica Wright and post player Devereaux Peters, both top reserves, as Lynx players on the mend. Both are expected to miss at least the team’s first six games after arthroscopic surgery on their left knees. Reeve described her team’s motto as, “Man down, man up.”
Brunson is the most difficult blow yet.
Last season, her 10th in the league, Brunson averaged 10.6 points and a team-high 8.9 rebounds per game. She also tied her own single-season record with 12 double-doubles while earning an All Star Game berth.
“That’s [a lot] of rebounds a game we’re going to be missing out on,” Seimone Augustus said. “That’s energy. That’s hustle. That’s our defensive anchor.”
Reeve described Brunson’s condition as tendinosis, a chronic condition she played through last season.
“Obviously, as time wore on, you keep playing, it gets worse,” Reeve said. “It got to the point where they recommended surgery.”
The good news is Reeve still has three healthy Olympic gold medal winners.
“When anything happens, when adversity comes our way — that’s why we’re so special — we come together and respond to it rather than let it tear us down,” Maya Moore said. “We all feel more responsible, especially on the rebounding end, to pick it up for a while.”
Said Lindsay Whalen: “Everyone has to step up and do more. Do their part and do it a little better.”
Reeve has options when it comes to her lineup, two of which she showed at last weekend’s WNBA preseason tournament.
She can go with a small lineup with veteran Tan White at guard and Maya Moore at power forward like she did Friday in the first of two games in Orlando. On Sunday, 6-1 rookie Asia Taylor was at power forward, and she had a team-high 18 points. At Tuesday’s practice, 6-4 Brazilian rookie Damiris Dantas working with the first team.
• The Lynx waived rookie guard Christina Foggie.