San Antonio Stars guard Moriah Jefferson has been dealing with knee issues all year and it’s time for the team to end her season.
You can be sure that Moriah Jefferson saw her sophomore season in the WNBA going very differently that it has.
In her rookie season with the San Antonio Stars, Jefferson averaged 13.9 points, 2.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game and played in every game of the 2016 season. She was named to the WNBA All-Rookie Team and led the Stars in both scoring and assists.
There was every indication that her second season as a pro would be more of the same. But unfortunately for both her and the Stars, that just hasn’t happened.
Jefferson is averaging 9.1 points, 1.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. Unlike last season, when she started all 34 games, she has only started nine in 2017 and has missed a number of games due to right knee issues that have plagued her all year.
When Jefferson has been available, she has been her usual dynamic self on the court, taking a leadership role and practically scoring at will. The problem is that with a new head coach in Vickie Johnson, an overflow of talent at the guard position and the chronic soreness in her right knee, every time Jefferson is getting into some kind of rhythm, she has to miss games.
And now we may finally know why.
During the offseason Jefferson plays for Galatasaray in Istanbul, Turkey. It is being reported by several Turkish Twitter accounts that Jefferson will miss six months of the Euroleague season due to her right knee.
Given that six months is about the recovery time for a repair to a tear of the meniscus, it seems logical that this might be the problem that has been bothering her all season long. It would certainly explain why she has been able to play at certain times and then would have to miss games due to the discomfort getting to be too much.
It goes without saying that if it in indeed a meniscus tear, the Stars should shut her down now and end her season. And that they probably should have done it a month ago.
San Antonio has three games remaining on their schedule and were long ago eliminated from the postseason. Why you would continue to play Jefferson and risk her doing further damage to her knee is beyond me.
No, a meniscus tear isn’t the end of the world and can be easily fixed. Almost all players recover 100 percent and go on to have long, prosperous careers. But why would you take the chance of her possibly doing more damage makes no sense. Especially when you have an abundance of guards on your roster, including the 2017 No. 1 overall pick Kelsey Plum.
The good news is that Jefferson should make a full recovery and more than likely will pick up right where she left off in 2016. Which is great news for the Stars and their future as they continue to rebuild.
But if San Antonio was smart, they would end Jefferson’s season now and not endanger her place in that future.