Kent Youngblood writes about the Minnesota Lynx.

McCarville says she will play tonight

Posted by: Kent Youngblood Updated: October 6, 2013 - 6:52 PM

Janel McCarville’s back is not 100 percent. But, after warming up before tonight’s game, she said she would be in the starting lineup at center for the Lynx in the opening game of the WNBA finals here at Target Center.

Game time is 7:30, on ESPN.

“I feel good as of now,” McCarville said. “I think I did everything in my power to get it as right as it can be. It’s still not 100 percent. But it’s the finals. So you have to do what you have to do.’’

McCarville’s post defense is key for the Wolves against Atlanta’s powerful center Erika de Souza.

But coach Cheryl Reeve will be monitoring McCarville closely.

McCarville experienced lower back soreness after an intense Friday practice. She spent Saturday and much of Sunday getting treatment.

“The inclination I have is we will give it a go,”  Reeve said. “It’s not the most ideal situation. She’s not coming into this feeling great.’’

Still, Reeve and her staff have come up with a contingency plan should McCarville be too sore to play well.

Backup Devereaux Peters would figure to get much of the minutes should McCarville have to sit. Reserve Amber Harris would also likely get more minutes.

Key for McCarville is that she is confident she would not injury the back any further by playing. It will also be important for McCarville and the training staff to take steps to ensure that her back remains warm while she’s sitting on the bench. She will have the back encased in a heating pad when she is on the bench.

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