September 6, 2021 

Kristi Toliver out 2-3 weeks with a fractured finger

Toliver had been out of the lineup since initially hurting her finger on Aug 26 against the Connecticut Sun

The Los Angeles Sparks announced Monday afternoon that starting point guard Kristi Toliver would miss the next two to three weeks after being diagnosed with a fractured left pinkie finger. Toliver had been out of the lineup since initially hurting her finger on Aug 26 against the Connecticut Sun.

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Toliver had missed the last six games of the first half of the season with an eye injury. She had since returned to the lineup following the Olympic break. And had provided a strong veteran presence that the Sparks had been missing. She was another capable ball-handler and playmaker as well someone not afraid to take and make crunch-time shots.

Against the Atlanta Dream on Aug 17, it was Toliver’s fadeaway jumper that sent the game to overtime before the Sparks pulled off the win. On the season, Toliver was putting up 9.4 points per game and dishing out 2.8 assists while shooting about 34 percent from three-point range. The projected time frame for her recovery ensures that the Sparks will be without her services; as they embark on the most critical part of the season.

While they got off to a promising start to the second half of the year by winning four straight, they’ve since returned from a grueling road trip on a five-game losing streak. Despite that, they still sit only a half-game out of the eighth. And final playoff spot with the New York Liberty and the Washington Mystics ahead of them in the standings.

The Sparks have four games remaining in the season, two at home against the Sun and the Seattle Storm. And two on the road against the Dream and the Dallas Wings. Without Toliver, backup point guard Te’a Cooper has been reinserted into the starting lineup. Cooper was moved into the starting lineup when Toliver was out earlier in the season but had since moved back to the bench. She helped form a solid bench unit also consisting of Nia Coffey and Chiney Ogwumike. C.Ogwumike is also out and is listed as day to day while Coffey has also returned to the starting lineup.

The Sparks resume their quest to make the postseason on Thursday night at home against the Sun.

David has been with The Next team since the High Post Hoops days when he joined the staff in 2018. He is based in Los Angeles and covers the LA Sparks, Pac-12 Conference, Big West Conference and some high school as well.

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