Those with a sense of local basketball history couldn't help but hear news of Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen's broken hand bone and think back 13 years to when a similar injury threatened to derail Whalen's senior year with the Gophers.
Whalen broke two bones in her right (shooting) hand in mid-February that season, an injury that had the potential to end her season. She healed just in time to return for the NCAA tournament, helping the Gophers embark on a run from the No. 7 seed all the way to the Final Four.
The injury this time is a little different, since it's one broken bone instead of two and it's on her left (non-shooting) hand. As important as Whalen is to this year's Lynx, it's also true they lean less on her than those 2004 Gophers did.
Still, a Whalen comeback — particularly if it ends with the Lynx's fourth WNBA title in seven seasons — would only serve to add to her already substantial legacy.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. email@example.com