Bowling Green, Ky. — The lingering effects of a knee injury suffered in April will force Western Kentucky University senior forward Dominique Duck to miss the remainder of the 2008-09 basketball season, it was announced on Friday.
Duck — who averaged 9.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game through the first nine contests — will be eligible for a medical redshirt, making her able to return to floor in 2009-10 as a fifth-year senior.
"This was an option we had discussed, really since Dominique’s injury last spring," said Lady Topper head coach Mary Taylor Cowles. "Dominique did a great job — along with the help of our team doctors, trainers and strength staff — to get back to the point where she could play this season. However, as the season has gone along, I think she has realized more and more that she is not completely ready to go through the riggers of an entire season.
"As her coaches, it is our responsibility to give these young ladies the best possible experience during their college careers. We completely support Dominique’s decision to redshirt the rest of the season, and will provide whatever help she needs during her additional rehab."
A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Duck became the 30th member of the Lady Topper 1,000 Point Club earlier this season, and moved into 29th on the all-time scoring list Wednesday night at South Alabama with 1,047 career points. She scored in double figures in five of her nine games this season, and also pulled down a season-best 10 rebounds at South Alabama.
Duck was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2008 Sun Belt Conference Tournament as she averaged a team-best 17 points during the Lady Toppers’ championship run. A two-time all-Sun Belt selection, she was named the league’s Preseason Player of the Year heading into this season.
"I need some more time to mentally get my confidence back with my knee," said Duck. "Right now I don’t feel like I’m there, and that’s taking away from my teammates because I can’t give them everything I’ve got. I’m excited about what this team can accomplish this season, and I’m going to do everything I can to help them from the sidelines and during practice. By the start of next season, I plan to be back to 100 percent and ready to contribute the way I know I’m capable."
The Lady Toppers (6-3) will return to action Saturday, hosting Ball State at 7 p.m. (CST) at E.A. Diddle Arena.