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Knock on wood: Liberty players remain healthy

Though fans might have complained and lost sleep over their team’s early season woes, the Liberty faithful is truly grateful that the injury bug has avoided New York. Knock on wood.

Playing more physical than ever, Cappie Pondexter and company have gone through the typical wear and tear that comes with any sports schedule but no one has spent time on the shelf. That says a lot about the conditioning (and some luck) of the players, especially Kia Vaughn and Plenette Pierson – both of whom have been fearless banging bodies in the paint.

The same can’t be said for a few of the league’s elite teams, including the Eastern Conference-leading Indiana Fever. Yesterday, the 7-3 Fever lost starting point guard Briann January for the rest of the season after sustaining a torn ACL during the team’s win over Phoenix earlier this week.

The injury is a major blow for Indiana but it opens the door for the Liberty, who sit in third place and two games behind the Fever. In Indiana’s 86-80 win over New York earlier this season, January scored 13 points and tormented the Libs with her dribble penetration and defense.

Though the Libs’ path to a spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs has one less roadblock, the players are sad to see a good competitor fall to injury. Several players’ Twitter accounts expressed thoughts and prayers for January.

Serious injuries to two Western Conference players put the damper on the Sparks’ and Storm’s season. Los Angeles lost star Candace Parker for six weeks, and defending WNBA champion Seattle will be without former league MVP Lauren Jackson for eight to 12 weeks.

Parker suffered a torn lateral meniscus in her right knee during the Sparks’ loss to the Liberty on Sunday. After pulling down a rebound in the third quarter of the game, Parker inadvertently bumped knees with Quanitra Hollingsworth and fell to the floor, writhing in pain.

Jackson is scheduled to undergo surgery today to repair the labrum in her left hip. More than likely, Jackson will not be available when Seattle and New York play their regular season games against each other next month. The Libs welcome the Storm to the Prudential Center on Aug. 9.

Both Parker and Jackson, however, will be active should their teams reach the WNBA finals against New York.

Yup, you read that right.

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