- The Washington Times - Monday, July 1, 2002

Nothing like a little midseason adversity.
Mystics forward Chamique Holdsclaw was placed on the injured reserve list yesterday with a high left ankle sprain. That means Holdsclaw, the WNBA's top scorer at 19.9 points a game, must sit out the Mystics' next two games, Wednesday at Minnesota (5-8) and Saturday at Indiana (6-8).
Per league rules, Holdsclaw must stay on the injured list for three games, including yesterday's 56-55 win over the Charlotte Sting. She will be eligible to return next Monday at the Orlando Miracle (7-6).
The Mystics could have kept Holdsclaw day-to-day, but with the mediocre caliber of their upcoming opponents, the injured list made sense.
"It's three games, the season is so long and we've been doing so well," Holdsclaw said. "I would probably be disappointed if we had a losing record or something, but right now I know my teammates can step up."
Holdsclaw, who is having an MVP-like season, injured her ankle Friday in a 72-66 loss at the Portland Fire. Holdsclaw was fighting for a loose ball when her leg got pinned under Fire forward DeMya Walker with 7:19 left in the first half and the Mystics trailing 22-18. Replays showed Holdsclaw's ankle buckled and her left knee twisted awkwardly.
This is the second time this season the Mystics (11-4) have been forced to play without Holdsclaw. In early June, Holdsclaw missed two games the Mystics split on a West Coast trip because of the death of her grandmother. Including yesterday's win, the Mystics are 2-1 this season without Holdsclaw in the lineup.
"Twice now, we have been challenged to play without one of our best players and one of the best players in the league," Mystics coach Marianne Stanley said. "We just said, 'Let's rebound by committee, let's play defense by committee, let's pick up the scoring slack by committee.' People just had to step up."
Holdsclaw is enjoying her best pro season. The Mystics are winning for the first time in their five-year history, and Holdsclaw is posting huge numbers. She's second in the league in rebounding (11.8) and the leading vote-getter (42,022) in the Eastern Conference for the July 15 WNBA All-Star Game at MCI Center.
"Every time Chamique goes out, people think that we'll fall apart and that we can't play without her," Mystics forward Murriel Page said. "I don't think that this is a one-person team. We feel like all 11 players in uniform can go out there and play. No matter who's on the court we can win."


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