Having missed three games because of a sprained right knee, Sparks center Lisa Leslie said Wednesday she will return to the lineup as early as July 22, when the Sparks visit the Seattle Storm.
"It's already better," she said after practicing with the team. "The doctor said, 'You're much further ahead.' "
Leslie's new timetable means she will miss four more games: Sunday at home against the Phoenix Mercury, and then a trip to play the New York Liberty (July 9) the Washington Mystics (July 11) and the Connecticut Sun (July 14). She was expected to miss at least six games.
On Wednesday, she shot jumpers for the second straight day but hasn't received medical clearance to run. Leslie, who hurt her knee in a June 19 game, hopes she can participate in running drills by Friday.
"I have to wait until the team comes back so I can get some practice," Leslie said. "There's no use me traveling with them and getting in shape when I can't play. I could be here without the plane ride and without the travel and, instead, get therapy and run and shoot and just get ready."