The injury bug continues to bite the Minnesota Lynx this season, with a key contributor off the bench now added to the list of inactive players for the coming weeks.
The Lynx announced Thursday that guard Rachel Banham will miss time due to a right thumb fracture that took place in a game against the Las Vegas Aces on July 9.
After consulting with hand surgeon Sanjeev Kakar, MD, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, the team says Banham was diagnosed with a right thumb fracture, though it won’t require surgery. Banham and the surgeon “created a plan of care that will be treated non-operatively” and she “will be re-evaluated in the coming weeks,” according to the team.
Banham suffered the injury on July 9, but Lynx Head Coach and President of Basketball Operations Cheryl Reeve said after Tuesday’s loss in Atlanta that the guard tried to play through the injury July 12 until the Lynx training team conducted imaging on her hand resulting in her joining the Lynx inactive list.
After Banham appeared on the inactive list prior to Tuesday’s game against the Dream, I reported Banham was expected to miss 3-4 weeks with the injury, also noting she is in a cast on her shooting hand as she begins her recovery.
I noted earlier this week that Banham is expected to miss about 3-4 weeks while dealing with what we now know is a fracture in her shooting hand.— Mitchell Hansen (@M_Hansen13) July 20, 2023
Banham is in a cast on that right hand, but the good news is it doesn't appear to require surgery according to today's news.
Banham, in her eighth WNBA season and fourth with Minnesota, appeared in 20 games so far this season while averaging 5.5 points, 1.9 assists and 1.3 rebounds over 14.5 minutes off the bench. Minnesota will miss her offensive boost off the bench, especially her team-leading 36.8% shooting mark from three. Leading up to the injury, Banham had been playing some of her best basketball of the season, averaging 8.4 points and 3.4 assists over 15 minutes in her last five games.
The beloved Minnesota native joins Jessica Shepard (non-COVID illness) and Aerial Powers (ankle) as current injured or inactive players on the Lynx roster, though Powers was upgraded to probable and should be on a path to return to the rotation as soon as Thursday against the Los Angeles Sparks.