Jayco Australian Opals star Penny Taylor will undergo surgery to repair a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament sustained during the finals of the Women’s Euroleague Championships in Istanbul and as a result will miss the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Taylor, a multiple WNBA All Star and two-time WNBA Champion, injured the knee while playing for European powerhouse Fenerbahce against Turkish rivals Galatasaray last week.
The WNBA superstar has enjoyed a career best season and was considered by many to be European Basketball’s MVP this year.
Taylor will undergo surgery in Melbourne next week. She will miss the WNBA Season with the Phoenix Mercury which starts next month in the US.
The injury will also mean that Taylor will miss the upcoming London Olympic Games where the Jayco Australian Opals are hoping to challenge for their first ever Gold Medal.
Taylor is understandably devastated at missing what would have been her third Olympic Games campaign.
“I am obviously extremely disappointed at not being available to play with the Jayco Opals in London,” Taylor said from her home in Melbourne. “Playing for Australia has always been my highest priority and missing this Olympics is devastating."
Basketball Australia Chief Executive Officer Larry Sengstock said that the loss of Taylor was a tragedy for the athlete and a blow for the Jayco Opals.
“We are devastated for Penny, as we know how desperately she wanted to represent her country in London,” said Sengstock. “You simply cannot replace a player of her calibre and her loss is definitely a huge blow. Unfortunately injuries are a part of sport and we are fortunate that Australia has deep reserves of talent from which to draw. The loss of Penny, while tragic, creates an opportunity for another player to grab a ticket to London and will only make the competition at upcoming Jayco Opals training camps even more fierce.”
Taylor’s agent Grant Cadee expects to see Taylor back to full fitness for the 2013 European season.
“Penny will approach this challenge with the same commitment and dedication that has seen her become one of the worlds very best players,” said Cadee. “She is in the best condition of her career and we all have no doubt that she will be back doing great things again next season.”