Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Tennessee coach: Candace Parker will play

Tennessee coach Pat Summitt said Wednesday afternoon she had no doubt Naperville's Candace Parker would able to play in Sunday's NCAA semifinal against LSU in Tampa.

Parker dislocated her left shoulder late in the first half of Tuesday's 57-53 win over Texas A&M in the regional final. She missed 10 minutes of action but still scored 26 points.

"I talked with Candace this afternoon, and she's dealing with some soreness but doing well,'' Summitt said in a teleconference. "She sounded great, and I feel really good about it (her playing Sunday). She needs some rest, and we're going to give it to her.''

Tennessee had Wednesday off from practice, and Summitt said they would have a light practice Thursday.

Parker has had problems with partial dislocations of her shoulders, particularly the right shoulder. She had such a partial dislocation in Tennessee's second-round win over Purdue.

Parker knew Tuesday's injury was different when she tried unsuccessfully to pop it back in herself.

"That was the first time that happened,'' Parker said.

Parker was named Most Outstanding Player in the Oklahoma City regional, where she scored 60 points and grabbed 18 rebounds in 66 minutes of action. Before she was hurt in the first half against Texas A&M, Parker had scored 16 straight Tennessee points.

"It amazed me that she was managed to do what she did in the game,'' Summitt said.

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