Collier takes baby steps toward playing during Lynx’s final stretch

Collier takes baby steps toward playing during Lynx’s final stretch
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For the first time since rejoining the team earlier this month, and five days short of two months since giving birth to daughter Mila, Napheesa Collier did some light work Wednesday at Lynx practice.

Coach Cheryl Reeve said Collier did some five-on-zero work.

"So the heart rate is what the biggest challenge is,'' Reeve said. "That and legs. I mean, her legs aren't anywhere near ready. So she progressed a little bit.''

Collier has said her goal was to be able to play alongside center Sylvia Fowles — who has announced her retirement — before the season ends.

That might be asking too much. The Lynx have only nine regular season games remaining, starting Friday with a home game against Connecticut. Indeed, three of the team's final nine games come against the Sun, which are tied for third in the WNBA.

The regular season ends Aug. 14 at Connecticut.

Minnesota (10-17) is in 10th place in the 12-team league, two games behind Los Angeles and Dallas, which are tied for the final two playoff spots.

Reeve said Collier, the former league rookie of the year, a two-time All-Star and member of the most recent Team USA gold medal Olympic team, will slowly ramp up her workload. Collier is expected to accompany the team on the road next week.

"It's nice we have a couple practices and a shoot-around [this week],'' Reeve said. "The idea is to progress into next week, as we go on the road, and actually have some practice time on the road.''

But don't expect her to be taking full part in practice soon. "I'd say segments,'' Reeve said. "Segments of practice. I don't think we're going to get to the point where we feel that Phee can do things fully by the time the season ends. I don't see that.''

But Collier might get her wish for at least a little court time with her friend Fowles.

"I see maybe spot situations, possibly, for her,'' Reeve said.

Etc.

Fowles, teaming up with Appetite for Change, took part in the planting of beets at the organization's community garden Wednesday afternoon.

Also along were Natalie Achonwa, Kayla McBride and Rachel Banham. Appetite For Change uses food as a tool to build health, wealth and social change in north Minneapolis.