Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Tennessee’s Parker leaves game with left shoulder injury

OKLAHOMA CITY — Candace Parker dislocated her left shoulder in the first half of Tennessee’s regional final against Texas A&M on Tuesday night.

The 6-foot-4 All-American had just stolen the ball and was dribbling up court in transition when she curled to the side and stopped.

A team trainer met her on the court and escorted her to the locker room with 3:50 remaining in the first half. She returned to the bench a minute later and checked in at the first chance she got, but then clutched it again while trying to deflect a pass by Texas A&M’s La Toya Micheaux and went back to the locker room with 15.6 seconds left.

She was not with her team when it came out of the locker room after halftime, and team spokesman Debby Jennings said trainers were trying to restore strength to the shoulder.

Prior to the injury, she had scored Tennessee’s previous 16 points.

“It’s not good for us, certainly not good for Candace,” Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt said. “We’ll just see if we can support it at all at halftime. (Trainer) Jenny Moshak’s the best in the business.”

Parker returned to the bench with 14:19 remaining and checked back into the game at the 10:39 mark with the game tied.

A two-time All-American, Parker hurt her right shoulder in Tennessee’s second round game against Purdue but Jennings said she had not previously injured the left shoulder.

Summitt said earlier this week that she has not been having the Lady Vols’ go full-court in practice to try to keep her team healthy.

Tennessee, the defending national champion, was seeking its 18th Final Four appearance.

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