Forward is recovering from 2 knee surgeries

Updated: February 19, 2005, 8:47 AM ET
Associated Press

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee freshman Candace Parker will not play this season and instead take a redshirt while recovering from two operations on her left knee.

The 6-foot-3 forward was the first woman to win the dunk contest at the McDonald's high school All-American Game.

Parker had surgery in August to remove loose cartilage and had another knee surgery in September. She was not cleared to practice until December but has been hampered by swelling in the knee.

The sixth-ranked Lady Vols hoped Parker's knee would heal more quickly so she could play but finally decided she would have to sit out this season.

"We wanted her on the floor this year, but she needs to be ready and 100 percent," Tennessee coach Pat Summitt said.

Parker said she was comfortable with the decision but disappointed. She missed the first six weeks of her senior season in high school after tearing a ligament in the same knee.

"This is my second major knee injury in two years. The knee is good," Parker said. "There are no doubts in my mind about making the decision. There are no regrets."


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press