Medical redshirt still a possiblity for Parker

Updated: September 9, 2004, 10:45 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee freshman Candace Parker, who underwent another surgery on Wednesday, still might be forced to redshirt the upcoming season as she continues to rehabilitate her left knee.

Surgeons repaired both the lateral meniscus and lateral articular cartilage in Parker's knee Wednesday. Doctors found the ACL in the knee, which Parker tore in July 2003, to be in excellent condition, said Jenny Moshak, Tennessee's assistant athletics director for sports medicine.

Candace Parker
Candace Parker became the first female to win the slam dunk contest at the McDonald's High School All-America game.
Parker also had arthroscopic surgery last month on Aug. 26 to clean up the knee, remove loose cartilage fragments and diagnose the extent of her injury. Parker first experienced pain and swelling shortly after starting classes in August.

Tennessee coach Pat Summitt said Parker's playing status remains uncertain.

"Depending upon how her knee responds to rehabilitation, this could result in a possible redshirt situation," Summitt said.

Parker, a 6-foot-3 forward from Naperville, Ill., is considered the most highly decorated female prepster ever to enter the college ranks. The consensus national player of the year, Parker missed the first six weeks of her 2003-04 senior season at Naperville Central recovering from a torn ACL. Still, Parker returned to lead Naperville to a 33-2 record and a second straight Class AA state championship, despite missing 11 games.

The dunking phenom -- Parker is the first woman to win a slam-dunk contest, capturing the PowerAde Jam Fest at the McDonald's High School All-American Game over five men, including the New Orleans Hornets' J.R. Smith and Connecticut-bound Rudy Gay -- averaged 24.3 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.5 blocked shots and 3.3 steals per game.

Prior to arriving at Tennessee to start fall classes, Parker led the USA Basketball women's junior world championship qualifying team to a gold medal in Puerto Rico with a perfect 5-0 record. She led Team USA in virtually every category, averaging 16.6 points and 8.8 rebounds, while notching team-highs in assists (24), steals (17) and blocked shots (12).

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