Lady Vol Loree Moore has successful surgery

Lady Vol Loree Moore had successful surgery Wednesday morning after breaking her nose against Georgia and will accompany the team to Florida this afternoon. <p> Another Lady Vol, Tye'sha Fluker, will not be with the team because she had to return home to California to see her grandmother, who is very ill. <p> Coach Pat Summitt is still pondering her lineup for Thursday night's game against Florida, but she does know which way she is leaning for now.

Sophomore Sidney Spencer would replace Tye'sha Fluker, and the rest of the lineup would remain the same with Alexis Hornbuckle, Brittany Jackson and Shyra Ely on the perimeter and Nicky Anosike inside at the low post. Spencer would play in the high post.

But Pat Summitt said she would evaluate Loree Moore during Thursday's shoot-around and might opt for a three-guard lineup. That would move Ely to the high post, and Anosike would play center.

Jenny Moshak, associate athletic director for sports medicine, told Summitt that Moore could be available for team practice this evening in Florida, but Summitt decided she wanted Moore in bed at the team hotel.

When Moore learned Tuesday that she could play post-surgery she was excited, Summitt said.

"They called me and Loree was really thrilled, 'I can play,' " Summitt said. "Most kids would be worried about going into surgery."

Moore had the corrective surgery at St. Mary's Medical Center. It was performed by Dr. Richard DePersio.

Summitt said Moore will rest this evening and "get some fluids in her, get a good night's rest and then we can make a better assessment."

"I'll take a look at shoot-around tomorrow," Summitt said.

It's not clear exactly when in Monday's game that Moore broke her nose as she took two hard hits to the face. It was clear that the second one took her out. During a scramble for a rebound, Moore was struck across the face by the arm of Georgia player Sherill Baker. She staggered to the endline and collapsed, briefly losing consciousness.

A few minutes earlier in the game, Moore also was hit, but Summitt wasn't sure yet when or how. Moore could be seen getting back on offense and holding her hand over her face. She motioned to Hornbuckle to run the play. Hornbuckle tried a dribble handoff to Jackson and turned the ball over.

"I asked her why didn't you give the ball to Loree," Summitt said.

Hornbuckle replied: "She told me she couldn't see."

"I said, 'Good decision,' " Summitt said.

Moore was examined on the sideline and went back into the game. She seemed OK, until the second blow.

"She took a hard lick to the face," said Summitt, who added it may have been "a combination of the two" hits that broke her nose.

No matter how she broke it, Moore wants to play tomorrow.

"She's tough," Summitt said.

Another Lady Vol, Shanna Zolman, was injured in the Georgia game after tweaking her right knee in the closing minute. An MRI on Tuesday indicated all was fine, and Zolman is cleared to play.

The loss of Fluker means Summitt is counting on Spencer, fellow sophomore Dominique Redding and freshman Sybil Dosty.

"We've got to get better play out of Dosty, Spencer and Redding," Summitt said. "The door is open."

Summitt has been pleased with Spencer's play of late, especially her rebounding.

"A confident Spencer could make a difference for us," Summitt said.

The team was taken aback when Fluker told them she wouldn't play against Florida because of the need to see her grandmother, who is in failing health with kidney problems. Fluker is extremely close to her grandmother.

"It clealy had an impact," said Summitt, adding it was apparent from the players' faces that they were unsettled by the news and reacted as if to say, "Oh no, we need you."

"But they clearly understand the circumstances," Summitt said.

Fluker is expected to return to Knoxville on Friday and will be available for Sunday's game against Ole Miss.

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