Perth Lynx import and Olympic gold medallist Jackie Young is facing a nervous wait to learn the extent of the knee injury she sustained during Wednesday night’s 84-73 win over Adelaide Lightning.
Young’s right foot slipped on the advertising decal as she charged down the court at the Bendat Basketball Centre during the second quarter. She was in immediate pain, needed assistance to hobble from the court and watched on with her knee heavily iced for the rest of the match.
Scans will determine the severity of the injury with the Lynx crossing their fingers it isn’t serious.
“We just don’t know,” coach Ryan Petrik said.
“I thought it was encouraging that she walked off but I remember back to when John Worsfold did his ACL and he jogged off. She just needs to know where it’s at now.”
The Olympic gold medallist had been in outstanding form in recent games, including 30 points against Adelaide on Monday.
Losing Young would be a massive blow as the Lynx chase their first WNBL championship since 1992. But a serious injury would also have other professional ramifications ahead of the start of the WNBA season in May.
Her Las Vegas Aces fell agonisingly short of making the WNBA final when they lost game five of the semifinals by three points. A number one pick, Young is out of contract at the end of the season and in line for a significant pay rise.
Young’s injury came in the same game where former college teammate and close friend Marina Mabrey made her return from a foot injury.
Playing for the first time since January 27, Mabrey started on the bench, came on midway through the first quarter and scored 10 points in four minutes to change the game. Mabrey finished with 17 points from only 15 minutes on court.
“She is just a baller,” Petrik said.
“She had the same swagger she’s always had and just doesn’t miss a shot. She hasn’t touched a ball for five or six weeks. She’s freakishly talented.”
Sami Whitcomb dominated with 18 points, five rebounds, six assists and three steals while Lauren Scherf had 16 points and nine rebounds.
The win gives the Lynx a 9-3 record ahead of a top-of-the-table clash against the 10-4 Canberra on Saturday night.
“Our season is in our hands. We’re sitting on top so if we keep winning, we can’t be moved out of first,” Petrik said.