Practice Report | Whalen Returns To Practice

Mitchell Hansen
Web Editorial Associate

After being out with a hand injury for about a month, Lindsay Whalen returned to practice on Wednesday afternoon for the Minnesota Lynx.

Fracturing her left hand on Aug. 3 against the Atlanta Dream, Whalen hasn’t seen any action since suffering the injury. Wednesday marked the first time since going down with the injury that she was able to go full speed at practice.

“I feel good. Obviously I was excited today to be in practice after being out a while,” Whalen said after practice Wednesday. “Now it’s just getting back into the flow and the rhythm of everything. It’s good that we have these extra days, since we have homecourt, to get back into the gym and get some good practice in before we start playing again.”

The team announced on Aug. 4 that Whalen underwent surgery to repair a fracture of her fifth metacarpal in her left hand. She was seen at practice Wednesday, almost exactly a month later, without really any protection on her non-shooting hand.

“A broken hand, you have to let it heal,” Whalen said. “Luckily, as far as playoffs, it was OK timing. But it felt good to get back out there today.”

Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve said she didn’t notice anything from a conditioning standpoint from Whalen during practice. Whalen said, although there’s nothing like playing in a game, she was working hard with Minnesota’s training staff on her conditioning for when she returned.

“There’s nothing like having Lindsay Whalen on the floor directing things. I thought she had a great practice, her vision was really good, her patience was really good,” Reeve said. “I thought she had a nice practice. . . She hasn’t played a game and the next time she plays will be in the WNBA Playoffs. But Lindsay is so experienced that I just don’t think that (rust) will be a factor.”

Although she has been absent from being on the court for the Lynx, that didn’t stop Whalen from having an impact on her team. Reeve said Whalen played a large part in somewhat of an assistant coaching role, giving tips and sharing ideas while awaiting a return.

“I leaned on her. Every time she spoke, I wanted her to repeat what she said. She sees things. We worked together a little bit and I think she learned a lot,” Reeve said of Whalen. “I think she was outstanding, whether it was a shootaround, our game prep, before a game, in timeouts, just communicating. She’s just a smart basketball mind and someone that has a future in coaching.”

“Hopefully one day I can be her assistant,” Reeve joked.