A rookie gem as highly anticipated as Diamond Miller isn't often afforded patience.

Being selected No. 2 overall as the Lynx's highest draft pick since Maya Moore in 2011 meant she needed to live up to her name. It was only the future of the Lynx's franchise in question. No pressure.


By her fifth start, Miller had shot 31.5% from the field and appeared to be hard-pressed for answers. She then found some with eight points, five rebounds and four assists in perhaps her best half of basketball as a pro, only to suffer a right ankle sprain before the break on May 30 against Dallas.

Miller, a perfectionist and far from a finished product, had no choice but to accept change.

"When [the injury] happened, we talked about the real value in being able to watch," Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. "So it's a silver lining that as a rookie now, to take in the games, Diamond was highly engaged. Sometimes when you're injured you kind of float to the background. She was in everything, in every possession, in every timeout."

Since May 30, Miller has been on the sideline for an equal share of Lynx wins and losses in which she could simply observe what worked, what didn't work and what may work upon her return, which is fast approaching. She practiced Sunday for the first time since her injury.

Reeve added Monday that Miller is "trending towards" a full recovery. Miller was not available to reporters Monday, but the Lynx listed her as probable for Tuesday's game against Seattle.

Reeve was hesitant to make a definitive statement on Miller's availability until she spoke with head trainer Chuck Barta.

"The final decision isn't mine," Reeve said. "But from what I saw, I would be happy to have her out there."

Napheesa Collier probably would be too.

"It's been great to see her and [Napheesa] play off of each other these past couple of days," backup point guard Lindsey Allen said.

The Lynx's struggles this season have been most apparent on offense, where Collier's 20.9 points per game have been routinely neutralized by the inconsistent production of role players. Although the star fifth-year forward poured in 21 points with a 45% field goal percentage in the Lynx's loss Thursday to Connecticut, her teammates shot a combined 26.7% (15 of 56) from the field.

Ask Reeve: Attacking defenses at their most vulnerable point — in the paint — and taking advantage of easy scoring opportunities have been lacking of late.

"The things I heard her say mostly [to her teammates] was things that she does well, which is playing faster in transition, attacking the basket," Reeve said of Miller.

"She was trying to get some of the players to see that."

Soon, the 6-3 forward will be able to do it herself. And Allen can sense as much, based on her two practices back.

"You can tell she's been champing at the bit," Allen said.