Mercury lose center Vodichkova to knee injury

PHOENIX -- Mercury center Kamila Vodichkova will miss the remainder of the 2006 season with a torn ACL and MCL in her right knee, the team announced Wednesday.

The loss comes at a crucial time, as Phoenix (15-16) trails the Houston Comets (17-15) by 1½ games for the final playoff berth in the West. The teams play at Houston on Thursday.

Vodichkova was averaging 10.1 points and a team-high 6.9 rebounds, starting 27 of the team's 31 games. She suffered the injury in the first half of the Mercury's 99-68 win over Minnesota on Tuesday.

"Obviously this is a tremendous loss to our team at this stage of the season," Mercury General Manager Seth Sulka said. "Kamila has been our most consistent post player the last two seasons and was just rounding back into form after spraining her left knee earlier in July. Our goal now is to make certain that Kamila receives the best possible medical care and is able to make a full recovery."