Tamika Catchings, the top WNBA vote-getter with more than 115,000 votes, had to withdraw from the game because of tendinitis in her left heel, according to The Associated Press. She will still travel to New York for the festivities surrounding the all-star game but will not take part in the game or the 3-point shooting exhibition held in connection with it.
Catchings, a four-time all-star who recently made the WNBA’s All-Decade Team, reportedly will wear a protective boot until she can be re-evaluated on Friday.
"The fans voted me to play, and it's really too bad I'm not able to," the former Lady Vol said through a team spokesman. "But you have to look at the long run and, hopefully, it will be a short-lived injury."
Catchings ranks among the WNBA leaders in scoring, rebounding, assists and blocks and is regarded as one of the league's premier defenders. She sustained the heel injury when she collided with Lauren Jackson during Sunday night’s game against Seattle.
Trooper that she is, Catchings played the rest of the game, finishing with 20 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals and a blocked shot.
Catchings is averaging 15.8 points, 7.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. By resting during the all-star break, she could be available when the Fever resumes regular-season play Saturday at Charlotte.