Freshman guard recovering from fractured metatarsal
LAS VEGAS — Taylor Chavez fit in with a certain demographic here, weaving her way around the casino on a motorized scooter in between sessions at the Pac-12 Tournament at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
But the Oregon freshman guard, who is out indefinitely with a fractured metatarsal, is determined to run with her regular crowd again this season.
“That’s being real,” Chavez said of her planned comeback after the top-seeded Ducks lost 64-57 to No. 2 Stanford in the championship game Sunday. “It just depends on what the X-rays show and how quickly my body heals and if the pain is gone.
“That’s really the main thing right now is the pain. It was at 100 like two weeks ago, now it’s like at a 30, 40. Making progress.”
Chavez missed Oregon’s final two regular season games in Arizona, her home state, after suffering the foot injury the week prior.
“That was upsetting,” Chavez, who is from Chandler, Ariz., said of not being able to play in the sweep of Arizona and Arizona State, which clinched the program’s second consecutive Pac-12 championship. “But it was fun to be there with my team and watch them win it outright.”
Chavez, who averaged 4.5 points and 18.4 minutes off the bench in 28 games, believes the injury occurred during Oregon’s loss to UCLA on Feb. 22. She didn’t seek treatment until after the home final against USC on Feb. 24.
“I remember a certain play in the UCLA game where I landed awkwardly and felt, not extreme pain, but a sharp pain in my foot. It kind of progressed through the USC game, and by the end of the USC game I couldn’t walk,” Chavez said. “I was like, “OK, I really did something here.’ You kind of tell yourself when it’s happening, when you’re feeling the pain, ‘I’m being a wimp.’
“And then you get to a point where you’re like, ‘Wow, I can’t walk, I should probably get this looked at.’”
During the Pac-12 Tournament, forward Ruthy Hebard played through a knee injury, Sabrina Ionescu played through an ankle injury, Satou Sabally banged up her shooting arm on a hard fall and Maite Cazorla was recovering from the flu.
Oregon coach Kelly Graves plans to give the team the week off from practice. The NCAA Tournament bracket won’t be released until March 18.
“I think it’s going to be beneficial for all us,” Cazorla said of the recovery time. “Me being sick and people’s bodies are tired, I think it’s going to be really good for us.”