Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Kamilla Cardoso injury update: Sky star sets date for WNBA debut as shoulder recovery timeline becomes clear

Chicago Sky rookie Kamilla Cardoso expects to make her WNBA debut on June 1 against Caitlin Clark and the Indiana Fever, she revealed Tuesday on Instagram Live. The former South Carolina star has been dealing with a shoulder injury, but she returned to practice this week.

Although Cardoso was limited in her first practice back, Sky coach Teresa Weatherspoon confirmed it’s likely the center plays when the Sky visit the Fever in less than two weeks.

“Just super excited for her to be out at practice today,” Weatherspoon said. “She’s one young lady who’s ready to play.”

The June 1 game would be a rematch between Cardoso and former Iowa star Caitlin Clark, who faced off in the 2024 NCAA championship game. Cardoso would also be playing against former South Carolina teammate Aliyah Boston.

Cardoso sustained a shoulder injury during the Sky’s 92-81 preseason loss to the Minnesota Lynx on May 3. The team originally announced she was expected to miss 4-6 weeks, and it appears she is on track with her recovery. The Sky staff needs to clear Cardoso before she can officially make her WNBA debut, but Cardoso and Weatherspoon are hopeful that will happen soon. 

“I’m gonna go with what Kamilla says,” Weatherspoon said. “I’m trusting Kamilla.”

The 6-foot-7 center secured her second NCAA championship win last month. In her final collegiate season, Cardoso helped South Carolina complete an undefeated season as its veteran leader. Coach Dawn Staley had an extremely deep team, but Cardoso led their efforts with 14.4 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game.

Former LSU forward Angel Reese has already made her rookie debut with Chicago and has shown she can help the team in scoring and rebounding just like she did for Kim Mulkey’s Tigers. Reese and Cardoso have played each other several times since high school, and the most recent occasion was during the SEC Tournament final. Since draft night, Reese has expressed excitement about sharing the court with Cardoso. 

“When she gets back and gets healthy, I know it’s going to be crazy down there,” Reese told SeeHendo. “We rebound the ball really well. I know if I miss a defensive assignment she is going to be there for me, so I’m excited for what the future brings with me and Kamilla.

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