Bears Boo Boo

By Jeff Lippman - November 09, 2007

When I ranked the Cal Bears No. 7 in my preseason Top 25 that was on the condition that their three big stars all stay healthy.

Now, after two exhibition games and before even playing one regular season contest, the biggest Bear of them all is going under the knife.

Junior Devanei Hampton complained of pain in her right knee and after an MRI was taken it was determined that she had torn cartilage. She will undergo surgery to remove the cartilage and is expected to miss four to six weeks of action.

Hampton is the reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year and figured to be the Bears' go-to post player before the injury. Now, junior Ashley Walker becomes the focus of the offense inside. Walker did lead the Bears in points and rebounds last year.

Six weeks would put Hampton back on the court by Christmas, but coach Joanne Boyle would love to see her recover slightly quicker, namely in time for the Bears' Dec. 10 matchup against No. 3 Rutgers in Piscataway.

I'd like to see that too because I'll be covering that game and I'd hate to miss watching Hampton play.

The good news for Cal is that they should be able to make do without Hampton for awhile, and have the ability to win all their games up until that contest with the Scarlet Knights. And the Bears should get her services back before the Pac-10 season starts, which means their quest to overtake Stanford shouldn't take too much of a detour.

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 08:40 PM on November 09, 2007

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