Sparks not counting on Holdsclaw for season opener

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Sparks star Chamique Holdsclaw might miss the team's season opener Sunday night at Seattle after leaving the team for personal reasons.

Sparks public relations coordinator Ashley King said Friday that Holdsclaw left the Sparks last weekend with permission and was currently at home with her family on the East Coast.

"All I can say is we expect her to join the team sometime during the next week," King said.

That would mean before or during a season-opening three-game road trip that also includes a game in Charlotte on Tuesday night and another at San Antonio on Thursday night. The Sparks leave Saturday for Seattle.

The 28-year-old Holdsclaw averaged 17 points and 6.8 rebounds for the Sparks last season -- her first with the team. The Sparks acquired Holdsclaw from the Washington Mystics on March 21, 2005, for DeLisha Milton-Jones and a first-round draft pick.

Holdsclaw, a 6-foot-2 forward, was taken by the Mystics with the first overall pick in the 1999 WNBA draft after leading Tennessee to three NCAA championships. She has averaged 18.2 points and 8.6 rebounds in seven professional seasons.