Minnesota Lynx rookie Jessica Shepard's season is over.
The team announced on Sunday that an MRI confirmed Shepard has suffered a torn ACL, and will soon undergo surgery to repair the ligament. Via Lynx.WNBA.com:
The Minnesota Lynx today announced that an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) taken at Mayo Clinic in Minneapolis revealed that Lynx forward Jessica Shepard has a torn ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) in her right knee. Shepard, who will have surgery at a to-be-determined date, will miss the remainder of the season. Further updates as to Shepard's progress will be issued when more information becomes available.
Shepard sufferd the injury late in the Lynx's loss to the rival Los Angeles Sparks on Saturday afternoon. With just under two minutes to play, and the Lynx embarking on what would ultimately be a failed comeback attempt, Shepard was out on the fastbreak with Odyssey Sims and landed awkwardly after being fouled.
She immediately grabbed her knee and pounded the floor in frustration before leaning up against the basket support. After being examined by the medical staff, she was helped back to the locker room and didn't return to the game.
Suffering a serious injury like this is devastating for any player, but Shepard's strong start to her career makes this news even more unfortunate. A second-round pick, Shepard had already become an important part of head coach Cheryl Reeve's rotation due to her heady play and impressive passing as a big. Through six games, Shepard was averaging 4.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game in 18.7 minutes off the bench.