Beard to have ankle surgery, expected to miss 2010 season
The Washington Mystics announced Wednesday that all-star guard Alana Beard will undergo arthroscopic tendon repair surgery on her left ankle next week that will force her to miss the 2010 WNBA season.
The loss of Beard is a significant blow for the Mystics, who open training camp on April 25. She led Washington in points (15.8) in 2009 and also served as an emotional leader for a team that reached the playoffs for the first time in three seasons.
"For us, we're lucky in that it happened before training camp and early enough for us to prepare mentally and physically," General Manager Angela Taylor said. "It gives a lot of people an opportunity to step up. With Alana we had the best perimeter in the league. But now there will need to be a lot of players willing to step up and play a greater role than they have in the past. Our goal is still that Eastern Conference championship and making it to the WNBA finals. We'll just have to refocus."
This is the same ankle that hampered Beard, who did not play in Europe this off-season, late last season and into the playoffs. Taylor said after consistent evaluation, team doctors recommended that Beard should undergo the surgery and hopefully clear up any lingering problems with the ankle.
It's the latest in a long line of injuries for Beard, who was impeded by a nagging hamstring injury in 2008 and limited by a shoulder strain that resulted in surgery and a six-month rehab in 2007.
Beard's absence puts another one of the Mystics 11-player final roster spots up for grabs, making training camp an even more interesting scenario for Coach Julie Plank in her second season.
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