- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Washington Mystics forward Marissa Coleman has a high ankle sprain and is expected to miss the next four to six weeks.

Coleman stepped on someone’s foot during the Mystics’ scrimmage this weekend and rolled her ankle. The rookie has averaged 12.7 points in 23.3 minutes a game off the bench for the 3-0 Mystics.

“We don’t just rely on one player,” coach Julie Plank said. “Obviously, Marissa was a big part of our 3-point shooting and our bench, but we still have a lot of depth, and other people are going to have to pick up the slack while she’s gone.”

Matee Ajavon and Tasha Humphrey likely will receive a bump in playing time while Coleman is sidelined. The Mystics also re-signed reliable 3-point shooter Kristen Mann to add depth on the perimeter, releasing center Josephine Owino to make room for Mann on the roster.

Mann was one of the last players cut in training camp and has experience in Plank’s system from her time with Minnesota and Indiana.

“The last week and a half has felt like an eternity, but today it felt like I never left,” Mann said. “I know the system already in and out, so it was an easy transition.”

The Mystics are hopeful trainer Navin Hettiarachchi will have Coleman ready to return in a month with up to six hours of rest and treatment a day. But since this is the first time she has suffered a major injury in her career on any level, there is some uncertainty as to how quickly her ankle will respond to treatment.

For now, the Mystics plan to raise their games while their budding star is sidelined.

“She was very, very effective and efficient for us, but I think we’re all capable of doing more to kind of pick up what we’re going to be missing from her,” Monique Currie said. “It’s a part of the game that people get hurt, and that’s why you always have to be ready as a team.”

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