Center likely out four weeks

Updated: October 31, 2004, 11:28 PM ET
Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota senior center Janel McCarville broke her left hand at practice Thursday and is expected to miss four weeks.

McCarville averaged 16.1 points and 10.8 rebounds per game last season, leading the Gophers to their first Final Four. Her 75 rebounds were an NCAA tournament record.

McCarville is also the preseason Big Ten Player of the Year for 2004-05.

Minnesota opens its season Nov. 14 against UNLV in Seattle.

Coach Pam Borton said she's "crossing her fingers" that McCarville will be back when the Gophers host the Subway Classic at Williams Arena on Nov. 19-20.

"Obviously you don't want to see any of your players being injured," Borton said. "But if anything like that is going to happen, this is the best time. We still have 2½ more weeks before we play."

McCarville got hurt about 30 minutes into practice during a one-on-one drill. Borton said McCarville lost her balance and tried to break her fall with her left hand.

She did not return to practice, and X-rays showed the third metacarpal bone, in her left middle finger, was broken.

Sophomore Liz Podominick, who had been competing with Jamie Broback for the starting spot at power forward, is slated to replace McCarville in the starting lineup.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press