In another strong indication that she’ll be back in the lineup for tonight’s playoff game with Phoenix, Lynx center Sylvia Fowles spoke to the media after this morning’s shootaround. Fowles, who missed all but seven games with a calf injury, missed the last 13 games of the regular season after leaving the Lynx’s loss to Las Vegas just 83 seconds into the game Aug. 13.
Since then she has worked hard on her rehab while watching from the bench. Here’s what she said she learned about the team:
“That they were clicking together as a unit without me,’’ she said. “And that I didn’t want to mess that up whenever I did come back. So, just trying to pretty much fit in when I get in.’’
We will learn fairly quickly how much rust Fowles has to her game and how much the Lynx offense – which prospered in her absence – will adjust to her return. But the defense – a problem down the stretch of the regular season – almost certainly improve.
The injury was a substantial one. Her right calf bothered her off and on at the start of the season. But, early in the loss to the Aces, she really hurt the calf and had to be helped off the floor at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. She spent some time in a boot, then started working with athletic trainer Chuck Barta.
“At this point I feel strong,’’ she said. “But we do have to think about where we came from with this injury. It was pretty bad. I think I did a really good job at rehabbing it. That was my focus, to make sure I’m rehabbing the right way.’’
Fowles said coach Cheryl Reeve and Barta would be the ones to decide whether she needed a minutes limit.
In her weeks watching she saw a team that learned to space the floor, that became one of the league’s better three-point shooting teams. She also loved the tightness of the group, which on more than one occasion talked about getting to a game like this for Fowles.
“I was working so hard to come back and play,’’ she said. “I think it was mutual respect on both sides, just making sure we give each other that positive energy and making sure that they continue to what they need to do.’’