University of Tennessee¡¯s Lady Vol redshirt sophomore basketball player Cait McMahan has decided to change her role with the team.
The 5-foot-4-inch guard has experienced continuing pain, swelling and dysfunction in her right knee following a number of surgeries and procedures, the most recent on Sept. 3, 2008.
After consulting with her orthopaedic physicians, Dr. Greg Mathien and Dr. Russ Betcher, Lady Vol head coach Pat Summitt, and Jenny Moshak, University of Tennessee Associate Athletics Director for Sports Medicine, McMahan arrived at the joint decision this afternoon that it was time for her to step away from a playing role and move into that of a student assistant coach on the Lady Vol sideline for the remainder of the season.
¡°Cait had been experiencing discomfort in the knee and conservative treatments did not address the problems. Her last scope eliminated some loose bodies, smoothed out joint surface irregularities and addressed a small lateral meniscus tear. Her knee is not able to withstand the rigors of Division I basketball on a day-to-day basis,¡± Moshak said.
Her last surgery came after McMahan sat out the 2007-08 season following an extensive surgery on June 6, 2007, to repair a lesion on the articular cartilage in her right knee. The guard from Maryville, Tenn., originally tore the anterior cruciate ligament in the same knee on Nov. 29, 2005, while playing at Heritage High School.
¡°I have to face reality and accept the fact that my knee can¡¯t take the day-to-day pounding to play for this team,¡± McMahan said. ¡°I¡¯ll try to continue to be a leader for my team from the sidelines.¡±
As a Lady Vol rookie in the 2006-07 NCAA Championship season, she played in 35 games and earned one starting assignment. She averaged 2.4 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 1.4 apg while logging almost 14 minutes per contest.
This season, McMahan earned a spot in the starting lineup at point guard before her knee became chronically sore. She played in nine games and started six while averaging 4.4 ppg, 1.3 rpg and 1.5 apg in 14.4 minutes of play.
¡°I know how disappointed Cait is,¡± Summitt said. ¡°The last thing she wanted to do was step away from her position on the floor because she is such a great competitor. I welcome Cait¡¯s addition in her new role as a student assistant coach bringing that same leadership and determination to the bench.¡±