Inactivity does not agree with former UConn star Morgan Tuck
If the former UConn star emerged from her rookie season with the WNBA's Connecticut Sun with a clean bill of health, she would have been playing in the WKBL in Korea (where her Sun teammate Jonquel Jones is the league's leading scorer and rebounder).
Instead, her days are spent doing daily rehabilitation sessions as she looks to return to the court after seeing her rookie year cut short due to yet another knee injury.
"It gets boring, because I am living by myself," Tuck said. "I will go do rehab and then I am at home. I am just kind of watching TV and trying to find something to do. At the same time, it is good. I have never had this much free time. I can go home if I want. I can go back to Illinois and visit people. I am going overseas tomorrow to visit a friend that is playing overseas. I get to visit Bre (Breanna Stewart) in China. It is good, because I don’t have something like I have to go to work and can’t do anything. It is really flexible. But at the same time it is boring, too."
Tuck's trip overseas will be a brief one because she actually does have some work to do. Work conflicts will keep former UConn point guard Deb Fiske from being the analyst on all the women's basketball game on the UConn Radio Network so Tuck will be filling in during three or four games beginning with the Dec. 11 game at Kansas State.
"I am excited to see how it goes," Tuck said. "I have never called a game before. I have tried to practice at home like watching it. I listen to people about what to say and how it kind of flows. I’m sure it will be a little rough, but I will get used to it.
"Honestly when I was in school, I never thought about going into any kind of broadcasting. My major was business management. I took a few communications classes, but not many. I think what got me interested was when I got to do the halftime report on ESPN. I got to do a few of those games and realized I really enjoyed it. This opportunity came up, so I took it."
There's a chance that Tuck could revisit this broadcasting thing in the future, well in the future.
"I think it is something I will pursue more once I am done playing, just because I am not going to pass up overseas to do it. I really want to go overseas. I think it is something where I want to kind of build up those opportunities and kind of show people if I am good or not. Then hopefully in the future I will get more of those opportunities."
Tuck would love for ESPN to come calling again in the coming months.
"I hope so," Tuck said. "ESPN is kind of like the pinnacle of broadcasting for sports so I think you have to show you could do it. I honestly wouldn’t be real confident in myself going into to commentate an ESPN game right now, but hopefully as I keep doing it and do better at it, it will come up."
Tuck said she is expected to be fully recovered before the Sun begins training camp. That's a good thing because with the recent news that Chiney Ogwumike underwent surgery to repair a torn Achilles' tendon, Tuck's role could be increasing with the Sun in her second season.
"I feel good," Tuck said. "I don’t have any pain or anything. I just rehab every day pretty much.
"My plan is to be cleared where I still have time to work out before the season starts so I am not getting cleared right when training camp starts.”
Tuck has had plenty of experience recovering from knee surgery. Now she can actually compare the experiences.
"It is pretty similar to the last one I had," Tuck said. "This one honestly feels better. It actually feels good. That could be because the other one I played on it hurt for a long time before I got it fixed, but it feels really good. When it is just a normal day walking around, it doesn’t even feel like I had surgery. My left leg is still skinnier than my right so that is a little weird when I put pants on and stuff, but besides that it is feeling good. It is really similar to the last one I had.
"It was the exact same surgery so the rehab is pretty much the same, six weeks non-weight bearing and a slow process. The benefit though is that it wasn’t in the winter so there wasn’t any slipping or something like that. Honestly having the last one helped a lot, because I know exactly what to do. When I go to rehab is it not like someone has to watch over me and make sure I am doing it right, because I know what you have to do.”
Sun coach Curt Miller is hopeful that Tuck, fellow 2016 first-round pick Rachel Banham, former WNBA All-Star guard Allison Hightower and Jillian Alleyne, acquired in the trade that sent Kelsey Bone to Phoenix, will be healthy for the start of training camp/