- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 5, 2003

The Washington Mystics placed forward Chamique Holdsclaw on the injured list yesterday, meaning the Mystics will be without their leading scorer and rebounder for the next three games.

Holdsclaw, the Mystics’ four-time All-Star forward, strained her right hamstring during Tuesday’s practice and will be able to come off the injured list for next Saturday’s home game against the Detroit Shock. When a player goes on the injured list, she must sit out a minimum of three games.

To make room for Holdsclaw, the Mystics activated backup point guard Kiesha Brown. Second-year forward Asjha Jones will start in place of Holdsclaw.

“It’s early on in the season and these three games are to get healthy,” Holdsclaw said. “It gives me 10 days to get it strong again by doing exercises and getting treatment and then I should be ready to go.”

Playing without Holdsclaw is nothing new for the Mystics (1-2). Last season, Holdsclaw missed 12 games because of a series of high ankle sprains and personal reasons. Without their best player, the Mystics went 6-6. The Mystics believe they have enough depth and versatile players this season to compensate for Holdsclaw’s absence.

The 6-foot-2 Holdsclaw will miss tomorrow night’s home opener against Cleveland (1-1), next Tuesday’s home game against San Antonio (1-4) and next Friday’s game at Connecticut (2-1).

“To be safe, we feel that we have to put her on the injured list, which is going to be three games. Hopefully, that’s all it is,” Mystics coach Marianne Stanley said. “There is a strain there that she’s not going to be able to play on. This is a deal, where by committee, we’ve got to make up the difference for Chamique not being able to play for a couple games.”

Holdsclaw, the WNBA’s leading rebounder (15.0), fifth-leading shot-blocker (1.67) and 11th-best scorer (16.3), set a league record with 24 rebounds in the Mystics’ season-opening win at the Charlotte Sting.

The following game, a 71-60 loss at Indiana, Holdsclaw passed two milestones when she became the 14th player in WNBA history to score more than 2,000 points and the ninth to record 1,000 rebounds.

“It doesn’t mean that other people can’t get the job done for us, we’re just going to do it a little more differently,” Stanley said.

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