Epiphanny Prince returns to Chicago
Epiphanny Prince sprained her right ankle while playing in an exhibition game for the Russian national women's basketball team against China on Thursday night.
X-rays on the ankle were negative, but Prince will head back to Chicago on Friday to be evaluated by Dr. Lowell Scott Weill Sr. He performed surgery on Prince when she injured the same ankle last June. That injury sidelined her for two months.
On Thursday, she landed on her opponent's foot after making a jumper from to start the third quarter. The game was part of a four-team tournament being played in the Czech Republic.
If she's able, Prince hopes to rejoin the Russian team for upcoming EuroBasket tournament from June 15-30. Originally, Prince was expected to miss six or seven games to play for Russia and return to the Sky in July. The top five finishers in the EuroBasket, which will be played in France, will qualify for next year's world championship in Turkey. The U.S. already qualified by winning the 2012 London Olympics.
Prince helped Chicago win its first three games this season, averaging 20.7 points, before leaving to join the Russian team Tuesday.
Prince has a chance to be the second American-born player to play for Russia's national team in the Olympics. Becky Hammon played in the last two Olympics for Russia and also the 2010 world championship. Prince, who was born in New York, became a naturalized Russian citizen in 2010, but this will be her first time playing with the national team.
Since Prince hasn't played for the United States in any major FIBA-sanctioned international events, she is allowed to compete for Russia.
Russia is coming off a disappointing Olympics where they finished fourth losing to Australia in the bronze medal game. The Russians had won bronze medals at the previous two Olympics, but haven't won a gold medal since 1992 when the country was known as the Unified Team. The Russians just hired Prince's winter club coach, Alfredas Vainauskas, to lead the national team for the next four years.
Follow Doug on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/dougfeinberg
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press