Candace Parker said Thursday evening that she is rehabilitating the torn lateral meniscus in her right knee for 2 1/2 hours every day in an attempt to reduce the swelling and regain her range of motion.
"My knee is feeling good," she said. "I'm weaning off the crutches."
Parker said her 2-year-old daughter, Lailaa, is helping her keep her spirits up by sometimes kissing her hurt knee or touching it lightly while saying "amen."
"Right after I got hurt, she made me smile," Parker said of Lailaa.
Parker injured her knee on June 26 while trying to dribble around New York's Quanitra Hollingsworth. She fell to the ground, writing in pain, and immediately feared she had torn the anterior cruciate ligament.
An MRI exam the following day revealed the injury wasn't as severe as she anticipated. Parker is expected to be sidelined for six weeks.
"I was relieved," Parker said.
After being selected MVP and rookie of the year in 2008, Parker has played in only 35 of a possible 68 regular-season games because of pregnancy and injury. Parker said she's anxious to return to the Sparks -- who are on a four-game losing streak and have fallen to fifth place in the Western Conference with a record of 4-5 -- but said she's going to listen to her body and allow it to fully heal before pushing herself again.
"I've learned to just continue to set goals for myself," she said.
Well, that and her doctor has intervened.
"I'm not allowed to be in the gym," she said, with a laugh.
Photo: Sparks forward Candace Parker tries to save the ball from going out of bounds during a playoff game against Seattle in 2009. Credit: Elaine Thompson / Associated Press