- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 11, 2011

There were hopeful signs at the beginning of season that Alana Beard, the Washington Mystics four-time all-star guard, would return to action this season, after missing all of last year with an Achilles injury.

But Beard has been hampered all this season with a left foot injury which she sustained during training camp, and while Beard has worked hard to rehab the injury all season long, she re-aggravated it last week in practice.

Trudi Lacey, the Mystics general manager as well as the head coach, announced on Wednesday that Beard will miss the rest of the 2011 season.

“Alana has spent the season tirelessly rehabbing and doing everything possible to come back this season. Unfortunately, the collective decision based on the evaluation of our trainers and doctors is that she continue to rehab, get stronger and prepare for next season,” Lacey said in a statement released by the team.

“Our team will continue to work hard, compete and we look forward to finishing the season on a positive note,” Lacey added.

Beard has a career scoring average of 16.2 points per game, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.9 steals. Beard, along with former six-time all star Chamique Holdsclaw, are considered the top two players in Mystics franchise history.

“I tried my best to join my teammates on the court, but after several consultations with our doctors and trainers the decision that made the most sense was to focus on getting completely healthy for next season,” said Beard.

“I am disappointed that I won’t get the chance to compete with my teammates in front of the best fans in the WNBA, but I look forward to returning on the court in 2012.”

• Carla Peay can be reached at cpeay@washingtontimes.com.

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