Back spasms bench Swoopes for U.S. exhibition

Updated: September 7, 2006, 9:53 PM ET
Associated Press

DURHAM, N.C. -- Sheryl Swoopes, the only player on the U.S. national team with three Olympic gold medals, was held out of an exhibition game against Australia on Thursday with back spasms.

She was in uniform but stayed on the bench during the game at Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The American team, which has gone 42-0 in Olympic and world championship competition since 1996 and won Olympic gold in 1996 in Atlanta, 2000 in Sydney and 2004 in Athens, is already without two stalwarts.

Lisa Leslie withdrew from the American roster Wednesday for family reasons, and Dawn Staley, whose playing career ended last month, is an assistant to U.S. coach Anne Donovan.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press