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Western Kentucky junior guard Sherry Porter looks to pass the ball in WKU’s 68-59 win against Florida Atlantic on Thursday at E.A. Diddle Arena.

The Western Kentucky women’s basketball team will be without Sherry Porter for its upcoming road trip.

The junior guard suffered an MCL injury during the third quarter of Saturday’s 71-51 win over FIU and will not play in the team’s games at Louisiana Tech on Thursday and Southern Miss on Saturday, according to WKU coach Greg Collins.

“Her spirits are good. She’s got to do some rehab. She’ll be out for a while,” Collins said before Tuesday’s practice. “It’s an MCL injury to her knee and so she’s doing rehab and everything she can do to get back as soon as she can.”

Collins said there is no timetable for Porter’s return, but she will be sidelined for at least WKU’s (14-6 overall, 6-3 Conference USA) next two games. He said the team will reevaluate each week.

“She wants to be out there and we want her out there, but right now it’s just week-by-week,” Collins said.

Porter had nine points, three assists and three steals when she left Saturday’s game with 1:32 to play in the third quarter and didn’t return to the game. Porter, a Baton Rouge, La., native, had started 18 of the team’s 20 games and was averaging 6.9 points and 2.3 rebounds per game. The nine points scored Saturday were the most for Porter since she scored 18 at Samford in the Lady Toppers’ 88-84 victory on Dec. 15.

“One of the things I tell them is we need everybody,” Collins said. “For us, the strength of this team is the team and we need everybody to kind of fill up that space.

“Sherry gave us a good ball hawk. That’s what I called it. She went up and pressured the ball a lot for us, and so we’re going to look to some other people to try to help us out in that role, but really it comes down to great team defense and great team effort.”

The two games Porter didn’t start were at North Texas and Rice while she was dealing with illness. Fatou Pouye started in her place at North Texas and Myriah Haywood got the start at Rice. The only other starter the Lady Toppers have had this season outside of the usual starting five of Porter, Raneem Elgedawy, Dee Givens, Whitney Creech and Meral Abdelgawad was Sandra Skinner in the team’s opener at Louisville in place of Givens. Alexis Brewer, who missed the first eight games while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, is averaging 16.5 minutes per game – the most outside of the team’s regular starting five.

Thursday’s game at Louisiana Tech (10-10, 2-7) is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday’s game at Southern Miss (11-9, 3-6) is scheduled for 4 p.m.{&end}

– Follow sports reporter Jared MacDonald on Twitter @JMacDonaldSport or visit bgdailynews.com.

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