MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Lindsay Whalen missed five games last year, and as a result, played her fewest minutes and scored her fewest points since 2006. So she did something drastic this off-season.
For the first time since her rookie year 12 years ago, the Lynx point guard sat out the offseason and rested instead of playing overseas.
"Just the injuries that I had kind of reinforced that I was like, alright, I need to take a break, I need to rest, I need to just be home, not do basketball every day, and just really take that break," Whalen said. "I just feel mentally really refreshed and excited. Not that I wasn't excited before, but there's just that different feeling when you miss it for a whole offseason. I haven't really had that since college."
But the real test will be how she feels later in the season. Because it's an Olympic year, the WNBA takes about a month-long break in the middle of the season. And that means this season will be about a month longer than the typical year.
"Looking ahead to the Olympics," Whalen said, "I've been through it before in 2012, so I knew the commitment you have to your body, and the time that it takes and what it takes for you to be able to play at a high level for that long."
As the Lynx chase their second straight WNBA title, and as Whalen chases another Olympic gold, Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve – also an assistant coach on the Olympic team – appreciates that Whalen is doing all she can to make that happen.
"It was incredibly unselfish of her to forego hundreds of thousands of dollars to not play," Reeve said. "Because she wants to be the best Lynx captain, of a championship team, and she wants to be the best Olympian that she can be.
"I have no doubt the results will bear out exactly what she was after."
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