A historic night ended in pain for South Carolina women’s basketball star A’ja Wilson on Thursday, and her status moving forward is unclear.
After becoming just the third player in Gamecock history to score 2,000 career points early on in USC’s win over Auburn, Wilson left the game with nine seconds left to play after an awkward landing coming down from a rebound attempt. The 6-foot-5 forward rolled her right ankle and immediately hopped along Colonial Life Arena’s baseline.
Wilson had to be helped from the court and could barely put any weight on her injured foot.
Given how close to the end of the game the injury occurred, South Carolina coach Dawn Staley was unable to offer much of an update on Wilson’s status in her press conference. However, she did clarify that the injury was a sprain and that Wilson will almost certainly not practice Friday in the run-up to No. 9 South Carolina’s matchup with No. 6 Tennessee on Sunday.
“Just a sprain. She just stepped on somebody’s foot,” Staley said. “I don’t know the depth of it so we’ll probably have to wait until [Friday] to see how it does.”
Whether or not Wilson will play against Tennessee is uncertain at the moment, she said.
“We just have to see what she feels like. She could probably take a day off and still be able to come back and play on Sunday, so in the back of mind I’m probably not going to practice her [Friday] just because I want to give it as much rest as possible to see if it will heal up.”
Wilson has taken a number of hard hits and tumbles this season as she consistently draws double teams from opponents, but she has maintained a positive attitude, teammate Tyasha Harris said, and she kept that cheery demeanor in the locker room after her injury.
“She’s happy-go-lucky as always,” Harris said of Wilson.