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‘I turned it pretty good’: Caitlin Clark battles through ankle injury as Indiana Fever falls to fourth consecutive WNBA loss

By Matias Grez, CNN

(CNN) — The Indiana Fever’s winless start to the season continued on Monday with a narrow 88-84 loss to the Connecticut Sun, but it was an ankle injury suffered by No. 1 overall pick Caitlin Clark that will likely have left the team most concerned.

Clark rolled her ankle in the second quarter and looked in considerable pain as she writhed on the floor, eventually being helped to her feet before she limped to the locker room.

To the relief of her teammates – and everybody else inside a sellout Gainbridge Fieldhouse – Clark returned to the court for the second half and finished with 17 points and five assists.

“I turned it pretty good,” Clark told reporters after the game. “I think it just got caught, I don’t think I stepped on anybody. I don’t have the best ankles in the world. It was a little tight this morning, but nothing out of the ordinary.

“It felt good, I just wanted to get a lot more tape on it as fast as I could to get back out there playing. It’s hard, especially when I felt I started the game off good, then you get hurt and you’ve got to sit out the last five minutes of the first half, then wait for halftime.

“It’s hard to get into a flow so I think it took me until the end of the third quarter to get back into a little bit of a flow, but every basketball player has had an ankle injury. If not, you’re not a true baller I guess, so it’ll be a little stiff but I’ll be good.”

Despite the Fever starting the season 0-4 after a tough schedule, Monday’s defeat was certainly the team’s most encouraging performance so far.

An electric sequence that began with Aliyah Boston making a block and ended with Clark hitting a deep logo three-pointer in transition gave the Fever a 70-68 lead with 7:16 remaining in the fourth quarter.

“I think it was a big shot,” Clark said. “It gave us some momentum, got the crowd going. Our crowd was incredible, our fans were incredible.”

However, missed shots down the stretch and continued turnovers meant the Fever was unable to see out its first win of the season.

A frustrated Clark was also given a technical foul after telling a referee in no uncertain terms that she should have earned a foul call on a layup in the closing minutes.

“I think you can see the progress that this team is making and that’s why this one hurts a lot, because we were right there and we had plenty of opportunities to go win the game – and then you don’t,” Clark added.

“It’s just some little things that we do to ourselves.”

Connecticut, now 3-0 to start the season, was led by a monster night from Alyssa Thomas, who finished with 24 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists, all game-high marks.

The Fever now faces a three-game road trip, beginning against the Seattle Storm on Wednesday.

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