Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood has been out since mid-October with a severe case of patellar tendonitis. She also has small tears in the patella, which causes inflammation and pain. She had been held out of practices to rest and rehab the knee but was supposed to be back this week for limited work and then a full-scale practice Friday. She left campus Tuesday night and flew to California for personal reasons.
She missed three practices - Wednesday, an individual session Thursday that had to be canceled due to her absence and Friday - and a math exam on Wednesday. The exam can be taken at a makeup session, Summitt said. Wiley-Gatewood only missed one exam.
The next couple of weeks will determine if she can play this season without her knee swelling or causing considerable pain. That is why it is imperative for her to be on the court. If the knee doesn't hold up, Wiley-Gatewood will have to consider a redshirt season.
Saturday was her first complete session with the team. She shot the ball well and made some outstanding passes while running the offense in the half-court.
"I thought she had a good practice today," Summitt said Saturday. "She's a natural at the point position. You see that, and you're even more disappointed" that she left the team without permission. "She felt like she needed to go home, and she went home."