Kelley Cain doubtful for Sunday's game

Freshman center Kelley Cain is doubtful for Sunday's season opener because of swelling and pain that is part of a recurring problem with her right knee, according to Jenny Moshak, the Lady Vols assistant athletics director for sports medicine.

"She's got swelling in her knee so obviously that's why she's doubtful," Moshak said. "We're going to work real hard to get that out but just because we get the swelling out then we've got to deal with pain and function. We'll just see how everything goes on a day-to-day basis. But with the game being two days away at this point it's doubtful."

Kelley Cain, a 6'6 post player from Atlanta, injured the knee Wednesday during non-contact shooting drills in practice when she planted under the basket before attempting a shot.

"She said her knee hyperextended, and she felt her kneecap shift," Moshak said.

Although that sounds like a traumatic injury, it is not in this particular case. Cain has a kneecap that does not track correctly and can slip in and out of socket. It is a condition a person is born with and is not the result of injury in her case.

In Wednesday's mishap the kneecap sustained a subluxation – it shifts out of the socket partially and then slips back in on its own.

"She's done it several times before," Moshak said. "Sometimes you recover more quickly. It's hard to say, but she's got a decent amount of swelling, she's got pain, she's got loss of function."

For now, Moshak will continue treatment to reduce the swelling and address the pain, and then she and Cain will work on rehabbing the knee. The Lady Vols team physician, Dr. Rebecca Morgan, and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Greg Mathien will conduct a medical exam on Cain on Sunday at the Chattanooga game. Moshak will continue with the treatment plans Friday and Saturday.

Cain's patellar system complex "is not ideal," Moshak said, and that is why she "has recurring problems with her kneecap."

That means Moshak could be addressing the issue on and off this season, or the kneecap could cooperate and stay in place.

"That's hard to say right now but obviously there is a pattern here," Moshak said. "She had trouble when she first got here; she had trouble in high school. This is the way she's made, and that's an issue that has to be dealt with."

The swelling and pain mean Cain is likely out for Tennessee's season opener because there is not enough time to settle down the knee.

"I'm assuming at this point she's doubtful unless there's something miraculous that happens between now and then, but these take a while to recover from," Moshak said.

Exactly how long is not known because the level and duration of the swelling will determine the course of action.

The protocol is to "work on the pain, work on the swelling, work on range of motion, try to get function back," Moshak said.

The good news on the medical front is that junior forward Candace Parker and senior wing Alberta Auguste are cleared for Sunday's game and doing well.

Parker injured her right shoulder in practice Oct. 23 and has tweaked it on occasion since then. She was limited in Tuesday's exhibition game to eight minutes.

"Candace is fine so we're doing well (with her rehab)," Moshak said. "We'll keep getting her stronger so she'll be fine."

Auguste suffered a severe right calf contusion about a week into the start of practice and missed the following two weeks and the first two exhibition games.

Auguste has worn a compression sleeve on her calf in practice, but she may be able to shed it by game time. At any rate, Moshak is very happy with her progress.

"She's pretty much completely healed," Moshak said. "We're still going to continue treating her but she practiced very, very well on Wednesday so I was very thrilled."

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