Storm rookie Ashley Walker (pictured far right by AP) was out on the practice floor shooting jump shots after her team’s practice tonight. She has been out since July 5 with a stress reaction in the sesamoid bone on her right big toe.
Walker, experiencing her career-first injury, saw her podiatrist Monday morning and was cleared for the 20-minute session. But she still doesn’t have a timetable to return to practice.
“Today felt good to get a chance to actually do a drill,” said Walker, who was able to shoot with her boot on in the past, but not jump. “Kind of run — jog. Slow jog. It felt good. It just sucks that you can’t go out and do what your brain thinks you can do. That’s one thing I’ve got to struggle with to overcome.”
Walker said she only feels a “dull pain” when she cuts or tries to run for a long period of time. A week ago she couldn’t move her foot at all. But Walker said she’ll be in the boot 90 percent of the day, “probably for the rest of the season because of the type of injury it is to let it really heal.”
Even though the former California star is unable to play, she’ll remain with the team when it leaves Tuesday morning for a three-game road trip against Eastern Conference teams. She’s hopeful to incrementally work her way to warming up with the team by the time it plays at Atlanta on Saturday.
But the first stop is Connecticut where the Storm will practice at UConn, the old stomping grounds of All-Stars Sue Bird and Swin Cash. Seattle plays the Sun on Thursday.
“I know they’re excited about that,” said Storm coach Brian Agler.
The team will leave F Katie Gearlds behind. She tore her posterior cruciate ligament and has to wear a brace for at least three weeks.
Seattle (13-9) has a seven-game break from playing Western Conference teams. A positive because the team can rack up some wins to distance itself from what is becoming a tight race for playoff berths.
Los Angeles defeated Indiana tonight to inch closer to San Antonio’s hold of the fourth and final seed. The Fever did the Storm a favor by defeating the Western Conference-leading Phoenix, moving Seattle within 2.5-games of first place.
The Storm had about 36-hours off after defeating New York on Saturday. The team spent the time resting, most enjoying a barbecue on Sunday with PG Shannon Johnson working the grill. She provided the chicken, Bird brought some corn and F Camille Little made cupcakes and rice crispy treats from scratch.
Walker, surprisingly, was excused from cooking.
“I asked and they said no,” she said sheepishly. “I’ve got a lot of oldies, but goodies on the team. They did a lot of the cooking.
“It was a lot of fun. We sat around and watched the ‘Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins’ movie, ate and laughed and talked.”