Catchings, Parker out of women's worlds

DOUG FEINBERG (AP Basketball Writer)

Tamika Catchings and Candace Parker have withdrawn from the U.S. women's national team pool due to injuries and won't play in the world championship later this month. Catchings dealt with a variety of injuries during her recently completed WNBA season. She missed the first 17 games for the Indiana Fever because of a back issue. She has been a part of the past three Olympics as well as played in three straight world championships. ''I have fought long and hard on the decision to participate in the World Championships this year,'' Catchings tweeted. ''Due to the injuries and recommendations of 'letting my body heal' to fully recover, I am stepping back from this year's competitions.'' Parker sat out a few games for the Los Angeles Sparks and is having minor surgery on her knee. She's also played on the previous three world championship teams as well as in the last two Olympics. ''Unfortunately, I have to go in for minor knee surgery and will be unable to join my USA family at the FIBA World Championships,'' Parker tweeted. ''My focus now is to get healthy and strong! I wish USA Bball the best and will be rooting them on in our quest for gold!'' Monica Wright also won't be at training camp because of a knee surgery. The U.S. will open training camp Monday in Annapolis, Maryland, with 17 players in camp. Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner, Candice Dupree, DeWanna Bonner, Elena Delle Donne, Sylvia Fowles and Courtney Vandersloot are all out because their WNBA teams are playing in the Finals, which begin Sunday. The world championship is set to begin on Sept. 27 in Istanbul. The U.S. team will train at Navy before playing an intrasquad exhibition on Thursday in Delaware. The Americans will then head up to Connecticut to scrimmage Canada before heading overseas for a pre-world tournament in France.