Candace Parker Injures Right Knee in Sunday’s Game vs. New York

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Sparks post player Candace Parker will return to Los Angeles and has an MRI scheduled for Monday to determine the severity of a right knee injury suffered during the third quarter of Sunday’s game against the New York Liberty.

“Right now we don’t know, we’re going to get her an MRI and we’re just hoping for the best. It’s tough but we’re hoping everything is alright,” Sparks head coach Jennifer Gillom said after the game. “We’ve played without her before so we just have to focus on getting to the next game and playing hard and having people step up. She just said, ‘keep me in your prayers,’ and that’s’ all we can do for her right now and just hope for the best. She’s in good spirits, which is a good thing.”

With 5:56 remaining in the third period, Parker went down after grabbing a defensive rebound and then briefly making contact with the Liberty’s Quanitra Hollingsworth. The Naperville, Ill., native did not return to the contest.

Before that point, Parker had amassed 16 points and 11 rebounds for her third consecutive double-double and fourth of the young season. She entered Sunday’s game ranked sixth in the WNBA in scoring and third in rebounding.

Parker began the 2011 campaign fully healthy after missing 34 regular season games over the past two seasons due to injury and pregnancy. In 2008 she became the first player in league history to capture both MVP and Rookie of the Year honors.

The Sparks will have an update on Parker’s condition when more information becomes available.

Los Angeles continues its current seven-game road trip Tuesday at the Connecticut Sun. The nationally-televised game on ESPN2 is scheduled for a 5 p.m. PT tip-off.

– From Sparks headquarters