Knee Injury Shelves Candace Parker

Lady Luck left a very special Lady Vol out in the cold with Thursday's announcement that freshman basketball standout Candace Parker will require knee surgery and could miss the entire season.

"Candace was experiencing swelling in her left knee and, upon further diagnostic testing, it was determined that she needed to undergo arthroscopic surgery to assess the source of the swelling," indicated Jenny Moshak, University of Tennessee Assistant Athletics Director for Sports Medicine. "The scope was performed yesterday by Dr. William T. Youmans at the UT Medical Center."

The scope of the knee was to remove loose cartilage fragments and after a period of rehabilitation, Parker will undergo a second surgery to repair her knee. The 6-foot-3 Parker missed the first six weeks of her senior season at Napierville High School in Illinois, while recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Parker originally injured the knee in competition last summer. She returned to lead Napierville to it's second straight Class AA state championship while averaging 24.3 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3.3 blocks per game.

The two-time national high school player of the year was instrumental to the USA Women's Junior World Championship Qualifying Team's gold medal run in Puerto Rico this summer. She topped the USA team in in scoring with 16.6 points per game and rebounding 8.8 boards per game. Additionally she led the all-star squad in assists (24), steals (17), and blocked shots (12) as the US women rolled to a 5-0 mark.

"I have complete faith in our medical staff, as they are one of the best in the country," said UT's Pat Summitt. "I know Candace will get back onto the court when her knee is ready and she is able to perform. However, depending upon how her knee responds to rehabilitation, this could result in a possible redshirt situation."

Parker captured the slam-dunk contest at the PowerAde Jam Fest that was part of the McDonald's High School All-American Game festivities, becoming the first woman to achieve that feat.

Parker was the centerpiece of a 2004 recruiting class that was considered the best ever in women's basketball. Her loss is a blow to a Tennessee team that was aiming to end UConn's title run.


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