March 13, 2023
Shey Peddy: ‘I may be on track’ to start season with Phoenix Mercury
Peddy tore her Achilles in October, but she says she could be ready to play again in mid-May
Shey Peddy was having the best year of her career in 2022, averaging a career-high 9.9 points per game, 3.8 rebounds per game and 3.4 assists per game, when her season ended due to a ruptured Achilles in the first round of the WNBA playoffs.
However, the Mercury guard is back with Phoenix on a training camp contract worth the veteran minimum of $74,305 and she is looking to be ready to go on May 19 when the team travels to Los Angeles for its first game of 2023. It would truly be a miraculous turnaround for Peddy to return for opening night as it would be just under nine months since she hurt her Achilles.
“Well, right now I’m doing really well,” Peddy said. “Six and a half months post-(operation). I’m running on the court. Running up and down. Jumping on my jump shots. Getting stronger in the weight room. I think the next step is more so defense – working on defense. And cutting.
“As far as the timeline, my surgeon thinks that I should be good to go for the first game, so May 19 is my goal. And as of now, it looks like I may be on track for that.”
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Peddy discussed the quick timeline for her return from an injury that usually causes athletes to miss 10 months, if not more.
“It’s been a long process,” Peddy said. “Even just being where I’m at now, I felt like I would never have gotten here at the beginning of my rehab. … But to be only two months out and possibly ready to play for the first game, I’m excited. I’m just ready to get back out there.”
While Peddy remains hopeful she stays on track to return, there’s a chance it could mirror what Phoenix went through with Kia Nurse last year. Nurse tore her ACL in the 2021 WNBA semifinals just before hitting restricted free agency, but she elected to return to the Mercury for 2022.
Both Nurse and the team expressed hope that she’d be ready for action at some point during 2022. But Nurse never suited up for the purple and orange in the season (though she did play for Canada in the 2022 FIBA World Cup a month later) and she won’t again anytime soon, as she signed with the Seattle Storm this offseason.
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The big news igniting the city of Phoenix over the past month has been the Suns trading for superstar Kevin Durant. Durant’s biggest injury in his NBA career was when he suffered the same injury, a ruptured Achilles, in the 2019 NBA Finals.
The Suns, who have the same ownership group as the Mercury, practice in the same facility as the Mercury. When Durant was first touring the facility, Peddy said she stopped the future Hall of Famer to get his advice on recovering from the injury.
“He was just telling me take my time and where I’m at now in my process, he’s just like, ‘It’s just downhill from here,'” Peddy said “Like, ‘You got it. Just go full speed. Now it’s just about repetition and stuff.’ So, I’m glad I have him here as well. Just kind of pick his brain and see what he did after and how he continued to rehab once he was 100%. So, it’s been good to have him around.”
Peddy is back on a training camp contract, which does not guarantee her a spot on the regular season roster. She discussed always having to prove what she can do.
“I feel like every year in the league I have to earn a roster spot,” Peddy said. “That’s just kind of been how things have gone for me. I’m never going to feel content. So, I don’t have a guaranteed contract. I can be cut just like anyone. I’m going to make sure I go in there and work as hard as anybody else like I’m trying to make the team. Because in reality I am.”
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Written by Jesse Morrison
Jesse Morrison covers the Phoenix Mercury for The Next. A native of Roanoke, Va., Jesse moved to Arizona in 2017 to attend the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, graduating in 2021 with a degree in sports journalism. Outside of The Next, Jesse works for Arizona Sports, co-hosting an Arizona State podcast, producing a radio show and writing for their website.