Can Sun keep pedal to the metal?
Mohegan - Life often has an ebb and flow to it. One will experience a stretch of strictly blue skies and unicorns, followed shortly afterward by storm clouds and a hail of frogs.
The Connecticut Sun return from a rare seven-day break tonight and will play host to the Chicago Sky at Mohegan Sun Arena (7 p.m.). The Sun (7-6) have won five in a row.
OK, now comes the Sun's grocery list of bad news.
All-star guard Allison Hightower continues to nurse a sprained knee.
Reserve guard Kelly Faris sprained her wrist against the Indiana Fever (June 17).
Reserve guard Danielle McCray fractured her right thumb during a recent practice and will have surgery on Thursday.
"Ali and Kelly have been day-to-day," Sun coach Anne Donovan said. "(McCray), it's definitely long term."
Oh, but there's still more for Connecticut.
Sylvia Fowles, the Sky's 6-foot-6 Olympic center, hasn't played this season for Chicago after having arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn hip labrum and impingement of the joint in March. Elena Delle Donne, a 6-5 wing, has missed the Sky's previous five games to Lyme disease.
Delle Donne and Fowles are both expected to be in the starting lineup tonight, according to Lauren Niemiera, the Sky's coordinator of media and communications.
It'll be the first time this year that last season's Eastern Conference regular season champion will have all of its starters available. It just so happens to be against the Sun.
Chicago (6-7) beat Connecticut twice earlier this season at Allstate Arena. Delle Donne played in both of those games. Starting guard Epiphanny Prince didn't play in either game as she took time off to rest.
Welcome back from your break, Sun.
"It's hard when all of the injuries are coming at the same position," Donovan said. "(Forward) Kelsey Griffin has done a lot of repetitions at the guard spot this week. Alex (Bentley) and Renee (Montgomery) have been playing the one and the two, or the two and the one (together)."
Bentley has taken over the starting point guard role with Montgomery coming off the bench to give her rest. Griffin played at the three during her first three seasons in the league.
"Everyone is a little bit out of position until we get somebody back," Donovan said.
Donovan gave the team time off at the front and back end of its seven-day break. The Sun return to a hectic pace as they'll play 11 games in 23 days, including seven on the road. They play road games at Washington (Friday) and New York (Sunday) this weekend.
"It was a really good opportunity to get away (and rest)," Connecticut center Kelsey Bone said. "Now we have to go on the road and prove ourselves."
The Sun are 1-4 on the road.
"It's easy for a team to win at home a lot of times because you have your crowd behind you," Bone said. "Being on the road, it's going to be a good test for us. Are we the real deal, or was it just smoke that we were blowing? We're going to be able to prove some things to ourselves."
Asked if they were the real deal, Bone said, "I think we are. What you saw at the beginning of the season was a team going through growing pains, trying to get it together and figure each other out. I think now we're playing as a unit."
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