Catchings to undergo surgery to repair Achilles tendon

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Indiana Fever forward Tamika
Catchings, who suffered a torn right Achilles tendon in the Fever's 81-65 loss to the
Detroit Shock in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals on Monday, will undergo surgery Wednesday to repair the tendon.

Catchings' anticipated recovery time following surgery is expected to be between six and nine months.

"She's got a pretty significant injury," Fever coach Brian Winters said after Monday night's game. "We've played without Catch before, but it is hard to lose your best player and someone of that stature and talent."

Without Catchings in the lineup, the Shock took advantage of the Fever, turning the game into a rout in the fourth quarter to clinch a return trip to the WNBA Finals.

After blowing an early 16-3 lead in the deciding game of the
series, Indiana trailed 33-30 when Catchings' leg buckled under her in the final minute of the first half when she tried to make a cut.

The four-time All-Star dropped the ball when she fell, and it
was eventually tied up by her and Plenette Pierson.

Even though she could barely walk, Catchings tried to get back
onto the floor and take the ensuing jump ball, but she was unable
to put any weight on the foot. Because she didn't take the jump
ball, she was ineligible to return to the game and was taken from the floor in a wheelchair.

A top candidate for WNBA MVP honors through the first half of the 2007 season, Catchings missed the final 13 games of the regular season after sustaining a partial tear of the plantar fascia in her left foot.

She returned to the court in time for the first round of the WNBA playoffs, averaging 19.7 points and 15.3 rebounds in a 2-1 first-round series win over the Connecticut Sun.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.