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Lobo Vaughn Out With Concussion

But Stark Returns To Lobo Practice

Vaughn Out With Third ConcussionBy Ken SickengerJournal Staff Writer

Every break the UNM women’s basketball team gets this season seems to require an X-ray.

The 2011-12 hospital march continues this week with Deeva Vaughn making the latest visit. The junior post suffered her third concussion of the season at practice over the weekend and is out of the lineup indefinitely.

UNM at Boise State, 7 p.m. Radio: KNML-AM (610)

“It’s going to be a while,” Lobo coach Yvonne Sanchez said. “It concerns me because Deeva seems to be getting more susceptible to (concussions), and this is not something you can take chances with. There’s a whole protocol she has to go through now, and that’s good. We need to find out what’s really going on and make sure Deeva’s fully healthy.”

Vaughn already has missed five games this season since suffering her initial concussion in a Nov. 25 game against Morehead State. Her second incident came during a mid-December practice.

Since returning to the lineup at Arizona, Vaughn had begun playing her best basketball. She averaged 12.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in UNM’s last three games, starting the final two.

Her latest concussion came during Saturday’s practice when Vaughn was going up for a shot and her forehead collided with teammate Emily Stark’s chin.

“Deeva had been playing so well,” Sanchez said. “I feel really bad for her. But we’ve got other players who can step in and to the job. My concern is for Deeva the person not Deeva the player.”

Vaughn’s injuries are part of a litany of health woes for UNM this season. Junior Sara Halasz and freshman Whitney Johnson suffered season-ending ACL tears, senior Nikki Nelson has missed time with a concussion and a bone bruise, and junior Stark has been out with an undisclosed medical condition. Junior Jourdan Erskine (stress fracture) has missed the last two games, as well.

If there’s good news, it’s that Stark returned to practice this week and is expected to play in Wednesday’s Mountain West Conference opener at Boise State. Erskine likely will not play but her injured left foot has improved. She was to have an MRI late Monday and could return to action soon.

Sophomore Chinyere Nnaji will start in Vaughn’s place Wednesday, Sanchez said.
— This article appeared on page D2 of the Albuquerque Journal

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