August 21, 2016

New York Liberty guard Epiphanny Prince is back after a nine-month layoff because of a knee injury.

Prince, who tore the ACL in her right knee in November while playing internationally in Russia, practiced for the first time on Friday. The team removed her from the temporary suspended list and waived rookie forward Adut Bulgak.

''It feels good to be back,'' Prince said. ''I feel like I worked so hard to get to this point, so I am very excited and grateful for this opportunity. The first day of practice was ok. ... I just want to give it my all. Whatever they need me to contribute, whatever they ask of me, I'm going to try to do it and give it my best shot.''

New York is in third place in the WNBA playoff race with an 18-8 record.

''I thought that she looked as good as can be expected,'' Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer said. ''Obviously there is some rust, but we knew that would be the case. I expect her to be a contributor for us down the stretch and in the playoffs.''

Prince missed the first 26 games this year after averaging 14.2 points last season to help New York reach the Eastern Conference final.

''It's great to have her back,'' Liberty star Tina Charles told the AP at U.S. women's basketball practice Friday. ''She's a great scorer and great teammate, and I look forward to playing with her again.''

Bulgak was picked 12th overall in the draft. The forward out of Florida State had appeared in six games, averaging 2.3 points and 1.5 rebounds.

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