Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cash, Swoopes Return to Practice

Swin Cash talks to media after practice.
Aaron Last/Storm Photos

As the Seattle Storm took the floor at The Furtado Center for the team's first practice in preparation for the playoffs, there was a welcome sight: starters Swin Cash and Sheryl Swoopes, dressed and on the floor.

"They did a little bit," said Storm Head Coach Brian Agler. "Not necessarily full go, but they were out in uniform and active. We didn't do a whole lot of up-and-down. It was mostly half-court things. Sheryl was in and out, not in for the whole time. Swin was more limited."

Both Cash and Swoopes were getting their first work in with the team since the Sept. 6 win over the Minnesota Lynx, 10 days ago. In that game, Swoopes suffered a concussion in a scary fall, while Cash had the back injury that she has dealt with throughout the last two seasons flare up. They missed the Storm's last three games of the season to rest.

Now, the question is their availability for the Storm's series against the Los Angeles Sparks, starting Friday at the STAPLES Center (7:30 p.m., NBA TV, 1150 AM KKNW). Will they be ready?

"I think Sheryl's moving that direction," said Agler. "I think Swin, we need another 24 hours on that. She's still talking to some physicians."

"That just kind of depends on the powers that be," added Cash, who is consulting with doctors, her agents and her family. "I go day-to-day with my body and the powers that be make a decision and we go from there."

For Cash, it was important to get back on the floor after the extended absence. Swoopes, meanwhile, has been feeling better and is no longer troubled by lingering headaches after the concussion.

Agler said that even if both players were able to go, he doesn't anticipate returning Tanisha Wright to the bench, which would leave one of them as reserves. Wright has started every game since the Olympic break after starting just three of the Storm's first 23 games.

Even in her first practice back, Cash could tell the playoffs are coming.

"That's the one thing that I noticed even about today's practice - intensity has to go up," she said. "Your practices, how hard you cut, you rebound, box out - all those things have to go up come playoff time because everyone is just going to be on the top of their game. You have to expect that."

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