Candice Wiggins is rehabbing a serious, painful injury.
She’s missing the European season, the chance to makes some nice money. She can’t play basketball.
She’s miserable, right? Wrong.
Wiggins was upbeat, positive and full of energy in a Thursday morning conversation.
“I am so good right now, I’m in a really good place,” Wiggins said.
Wiggins is literally in a really good place, at Stanford, taking classes to finish her degree in Communications. She’s going to class — she has five on her schedule for the quarter — spending time with friends and just, well, resting. Rest has been a foreign concept to the Pac-10′s all-time leading scorer, who has rarely taken a week off save for injuries since her Stanford career ended in the national title game in 2008.
The player who always went full-throttle has been forced to slow down after sustaining an Achilles tendon injury early in the WNBA season.
“This is probably the best thing that happened to me, and I know that doesn’t make any sense,” Wiggins said.
Wiggins said she was burned out on year-round basketball. Her body and her mind were tired. She had surgery in late-May to repair a torn meniscus after the European season, but said she was experiencing soreness in her Achilles when she came back to the floor for Minnesota Lynx.
After her injury, which happened in the closing seconds of a game against the New York Liberty, Wiggins said she was devastated. She was crying when she made the phone call to her mother to break the news.
“I told her I was hurt and she said, ‘Good, maybe you can sit down now,’” Wiggins said. “I was crying and I just stopped.”
Wiggins said her life was “awesome” over the summer.
“I was sad I wasn’t with the team, but I got to go to the ESPY’s. I got to live my life, I got to see my family for the first time in six years,” Wiggins said. “I got to do a lot of things I’ve never been able to do before.”
Wiggins said there were some people in her life who were a little worried to see her taking this so well.
“I know there are people who think I was too happy,” Wiggins said. “But I need an offseason, it was too much for me.”
Her torn Achilles tendon, sustained in July at the end of a WNBA game, is healing well.
“It’s going great. I can do single-leg calf raises, which at this stage is hard to do,” Wiggins said. “My Achilles scar is one of the best scars ever and it’s all about how the scar looks. And the rest is helping my body.”
Wiggins said she’s learned a valuable lesson from this experience.
“For me, right now, rest does more for me than working out. A day off is more beneficial to me that going out and working out,” Wiggins said. “I’m still overindulgent. I will go until the wheels fall off, but you can’t drive your body like that.”
Wiggins said she will take the full nine months to recuperate. She will likely not play again until the WNBA season starts in June.
“I’m being very conservative. If it takes nine months, then I feel like I have that time, so why not take it?” Wiggins said. “I just want to be back for the WNBA season and completely 100 percent rested for it.”
And she plans to be around to watch the Stanford women start the new season.
“I love being along for the ride. It’s such an awesome vehicle,” Wiggins said. “We’re legit (title contenders). I only dreamed of being that legit when I was playing. I’m a Stanford fan now too, I just used to play.”