The Mystics announced today that Alana Beard will not be able to play at all this season. While likely not a surprise to most Mystics fans, this is still very sad and very unwelcome news.
One thing the BCs know about Alana -- from watching her, for years, in a Mystics uniform -- is that she's a consummate competitor. She played hurt for good stretches of her career. When she couldn't play, because of injury, nobody attacked the job of re-hab with more vengeance than Alana did. And this off-season was no exception.
Last summer, Alana was forced to sit, watch and cheer her teammates as they won a record number of games; although she was a great cheerleader, not being able to contribute on the court had to be extremely tough for a competitor like Alana. But she stayed positive, and the effort that she put in, in an attempt to return to the court this year (following a severe left ankle injury) was impressive. We feel really disappointed -- mostly for Alana's sake, but also for Mystics and WNBA fans -- that she will now miss a second full season of play.
In the Mystics' release today, Alana is quoted as saying that she looks forward "to returning on the court in 2012." The BCs certainly hope to see Alana return, and play again.
Photo credit: DC BasketCases