New Mexico's leading scorer Marsh expects to be OK for next season

Updated: July 12, 2007, 8:37 PM ET
Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE -- New Mexico forward Dionne Marsh, the most valuable player from last season's Mountain West tournament, said she's on the path to recovery after surgery in May to repair two dislocated discs in her back.

Marsh said she was in pain for more than a year and had struggled to sleep.

"It was really scary when the doctors first told me I needed surgery, and I was a little upset because I wasn't sure I was going to be able to play again," she said. "Then the doctors told me I would make a 100 percent recovery, and I was relieved. My pain was finally going to go away."

Marsh has worked her way up to walking. Doctors told her she will be able to begin heavier workouts in August.

"I believe that I'll be back at full strength next season," said Marsh, a senior who averaged 14.7 points per game last season.

Coach Don Flanagan disclosed last month that Marsh had the surgery but declined to discuss details, saying that was up to Marsh. He said her injury hasn't affected the way he is approaching next season.

"We're not pushing her. This isn't going to change how we spend our offseason," Flanagan said. "We are preparing all of our players to be major contributors and expect them all to be ready to step into significant roles on our team."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press