Alex Fuller expected to miss Kentucky game

Lady Vol junior forward Alex Fuller will likely not play against Kentucky because of some knee pain in a midseason move that is precautionary in nature. Fuller sat out practice Monday and Pat Summitt expects to let her rest for the next few days.

Pat Summitt said Monday that she would have let Alex Fuller rest Sunday and not play against South Carolina, but her family – mother, father and siblings – traveled from Charlotte, N.C., and Fuller wanted to play.

"I didn't want to play her yesterday, but her family was there," Summitt said. "She told me her family was there and I said, ‘Fine, we'll do that, but then you've got to rest after this. Jenny said she just needs some days of rest. We've got time right now to rest her and if she had to play at Kentucky she could play (but) I'd rather not."

Jenny Moshak, the assistant athletics director for sports medicine, said Fuller has some swelling and pain in both knees and is undergoing treatment to address both.

"Out for a few days to rest, get her on some meds, treat her," said Moshak, who added the symptoms are typical of a player who has had major surgeries on both knees. "It's a good point in the season to do this so that she can last for the rest of the season."

Fuller only played 10 minutes Sunday – she had one board and a steal – but she has been the go-to player off the bench this season. She has played in all 16 games this season and started one. Fuller, a redshirt junior who had surgery on her left knee in the fall of 2004, is averaging 7.2 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.

"She's having the best year of her career," Summitt said. "I think we're doing the right thing to err on the side of caution instead of being more aggressive."

Fuller could play, if necessary, on Thursday, but "we're going to try not to," Moshak said.

Moshak's Rehab Row was busy Monday. Vicki Baugh took a shot to the side of her left knee during a one-on-one defensive drill and tweaked the iliotibial band – the fibrous tissue that runs along the outside of the leg from the hip to the shin bone. The IT band works with the quad muscles to help stabilize the outside of the knee.

Baugh finished the drill after the contact but was immediately pulled off the practice floor when it was apparent that she was in some pain.

"Everything checked out fine," Moshak said. "She had a little history of this. The good news is that is what protects her knee, and it does what it is supposed to do and then we have to deal with those consequences after it protects it."

Candace Parker, a junior forward, also is OK after hurting her knee Sunday when she split two South Carolina defenders and absorbed a shot to her surgically repaired left knee. She went down in that game holding the knee but left the floor on her own and later returned.

"She's got a bruise," Moshak said. "We treated it this morning. She's got a decent bruise, but outside of that she's fine."

Parker was able to practice Monday.

Cait McMahan, who is taking a redshirt year this season, practiced with the scout team for most of the session.

"Cait's playing in and out," Moshak said. "She's giving us some good minutes right now."

The last resident of Rehab Row, Kelley Cain, is recovering from surgery in December to realign her right kneecap. Cain also will take a redshirt year this season.

"As Dr. (Greg) Mathien put it at the game Sunday she's doing very, very, very, very, very, very, very well," Moshak said. "Way ahead of schedule. She'll be on crutches one more month because of the drilling in the bone, but that's standard protocol."

Cain does some rehab work on the sidelines during practice and always seems to have a smile on her face.

"She's a pleasure to work with," Moshak said.


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