Mercury lose Taylor for season to knee injury
PHOENIX – Phoenix Mercury forward Penny Taylor sustained a season-ending knee on injury on March 29 while playing for Fenerbahce (Turkey) in the Euroleague Final 8. Taylor tore her left anterior cruciate ligament playing against Turkish rival Galatasaray. Taylor will undergo surgery and immediately begin the rehabilitation process.
"We are devastated by the news of Penny's injury," Mercury President and COO Amber Cox said. "We plan to do everything possible to aide in Penny's rehabilitation and look forward to her full recovery and continuing her career with the Phoenix Mercury."
A 10-year WNBA veteran, Taylor has played seven seasons in Phoenix and is the second-longest-tenured player in franchise history (behind Diana Taurasi, eight seasons). She ranks among the franchise career leaders in numerous statistical categories, including second in scoring, rebounding and assists.
Named a WNBA All-Star in 2011 for the third time in her career, Taylor is coming off two of her best statistical seasons. From 2010 to 2011, Taylor averaged 16.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.9 assists while shooting 51.0 percent from the field and 42.1 percent from the 3-point line.
"Anytime you lose a player of Penny's caliber, it is a significant blow to your roster," general manager and head coach Corey Gaines said. "We will work diligently with her through her recovery and continue to move forward building our team. We still have a strong core returning in Diana, Candice (Dupree) and DeWanna (Bonner), I'm excited about the additions we made in the offseason, and I anticipate our young players filling bigger roles this season."
The Mercury returns six players from the 2011 team that advanced to the club's third-consecutive Western Conference Finals, led by five-time WNBA scoring champion Diana Taurasi, three-time Sixth Woman of the Year Bonner and three-time All-Star Dupree. The Mercury added versatile guard Alexis Hornbuckle and forward Charde Houston through free agency and owns the sixth pick in this year's WNBA Draft to be held Monday, April 16.
Phoenix opens the 2012 season on May 20 on the road against the defending WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx. Tipoff is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Phoenix time and will be nationally televised on ABC. The Mercury makes its home debut on May 26 when it hosts the Los Angeles Sparks at 7 p.m.