DiDi Richards of the Baylor Lady Bears is making progress in her recovery from a spinal cord shock injury sustained in a practice collision. She collided with Moon Ursin, who suffered a concussion and is progressing through concussion protocol.
Richards’ official diagnosis is a Spinal Cord Injury Without Radiographic Abnormality (SCIWORA) and she is expected to make a full recovery. There is no permanent injury to her spinal cord.
Richards is out of the hospital and says she wants to play at some point this season, though there is still no timetable for her recovery and return. Ursin suffered a concussion in the collision and is now in the third of five stages of concussion protocol.
Baylor athletic trainer Alex Olson said the following of Richards’ situation:
It just goes, literally, by how she’s feeling. And so we’re all optimistic that she can come back this year, but there’s no guarantees that’s going to happen. We just take it as fast as she can go.
Scary, scary news out of Baylor women's hoops: A practice collision caused a spinal cord shock injury to DiDi Richards and Moon Ursin suffered a concussion.— Brian Hamilton (@_Brian_Hamilton) October 29, 2020
Richards, last year's national Defensive Player of the Year, is out indefinitely. pic.twitter.com/hJ2Io3ZBLE
Richards is said to have lost consciousness for around one minute after the collision and couldn’t feel her lower legs after waking up.
It is important to note that Richards could choose to take advantage of the new NCAA offer of an extra year of eligibility to all athletes participating this winter season if she feels that is what is best for her WNBA draft status. Richards is in her senior year with the Lady Bears and has WNBA potential. She is a former national champion and was the National Defensive Player of the Year for the 2019-20 NCAAW season.