The former MVP will remain sidelined with a hamstring injury.
LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Sparks star Candace Parker will be out of action for three to five weeks, according to a timetable provided by the team Tuesday. Following that time period, she should be ready to re-join the team on the court. She wasn’t available at the team’s media day due to an illness.
Parker suffered a left hamstring injury in the team’s first preseason game against the Phoenix Mercury this past weekend. She came out of the game after playing only four minutes in the Sparks 82-75 loss.
Based on the timeline, Parker will miss the Sparks season opener against the Las Vegas Aces on May 26. The earliest she could be back on the court would be sometime in early June.
The two-time former MVP had her first offseason of rest, opting to remain stateside and work as an analyst with NBA TV and Turner Sports rather than playing overseas.
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Parker started the game against Phoenix at small forward, and that looks to be the position she’ll play regularly this season. Her absence will open up opportunities for some of the other players on the roster.
The Sparks’ acquisition of Chiney Ogwumike appears to be much more important now depending on how long Parker remains out. She should be able to play alongside Nneka in the frontcourt. Chiney came off the bench against Phoenix and finished with seven points, four rebounds, four assists, and one blocked shot.
The Sparks also have Maria Vadeeva and rookie Kalani Brown up front as well. Vadeeva played sparingly last season and just returned from playing overseas. At the team’s media day, general manager Penny Toler called Brown the first true center the team has ever had.
The team remains without Jantel Lavender who, along with Chelsea Gray, are due back soon from their overseas commitments. Lavender has been one of the better backup centers in the league and could see an extended role with Parker out.
The Sparks next preseason game will be this Friday, May 17 at Pasadena City College against the defending champion Seattle Storm. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
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