For the Lynx players who remain here at home during the Olympics, the month-long break will mean extra practice time and skill workouts. For the three Lynx players who were injured when the first half of the season drew to a close, this break will also offer the recovery time they need without the pressure of missing more games.
Jessica Adair (right knee), Devereaux Peters (left middle finger) and Rebekkah Brunson (left calf) are all using the break to get stronger in hopes of coming back fresh and ready to go after the Olympics. During their practice Friday at the LifeTime Fitness Training Center, all three practiced on a limited basis but were able to participate in the majority of the drills.
"It's important that we take this opportunity to regroup, get healthy and prepare for the second half of the season," Brunson said. "The break just gives us an opportunity that we usually wouldn't have to take our time and make sure that we don't have problems later on. We're really taking our time, we're not rushing it."
Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said after their July 12 game against Tulsa that she expected all three to return healthy and hungry after the break, and if today's practice was any indication, they will. With three weeks until their next contest (August 17 at home against the Mystics), they already appear to be coming back strong and all three expressed how happy they are to be back on the court with their teammates.
Injury: Adair underwent anthroscopic knee surgery on June 22 and has missed all seven games since then.
Status: She returned to practice recently and said today that her knee feels good. She added that lateral movement is still a little shaky but that she's been doing a lot of strengthening exercises to make the muscles around her knee stronger.
"Being off the court is the hardest thing ever, because all you want to do is get back and help your team," said Adair. "But I'm happy to be back now."
Injury: Peters suffers from a broken middle finger on her left hand, suffered during the Lynx's July 5 game against the Sparks. She missed the three games after that.
Status: She is also practicing on a limited basis, but said she participated in almost all of today's practice. She said they're trying to keep her out of too much contact to make sure she doesn't reinjure the finger or slow the progress it's made.
Peters said she also has a strengthening exercise regimen for her hand to help it recover.
"I have to do exercises with the weights and I have to squeeze putty to strengthen my hand," said Peters. "Definitely working my forearm, my wrist, all that stuff to strengthen it."
Injury: Brunson has been dealing with a left calf strain and missed the last two games before the break, a pair of wins against the Shock.
Status: She said that she didn't have any problems with it at all during practice today and was able to play without it getting sore or tired.
"It gives me the opportunity to come in here and take the necessary time to rehab and make sure it all comes together without any pressure," said Brunson. "I'm ready to be back out there, and I'm glad to be back with my teammates. We were kind of short-handed today, so it felt good to be able to be out there and help them."
For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Lynx on Twitter.