Mann ready to suit back up for ASU

Dhon Santos/Santos Photography

Deja Mann is a tough woman. Having fought through two ACL injuries on her left knee in high school, it looked like Mann’s injury troubles were a thing of the past. In her first three seasons at Arizona State, the Merced, Calif., native played in all 95 games, starting 48 of them.

And then it happened again. Another ACL tear right before practice was to start for the 2012-13 campaign; only this time, it was her right knee, and she knew it immediately.

“I was just crying. I was kind of inconsolable at that point because I knew exactly what it was and what it meant, and we were so close to practice,” Mann said. “It was really disappointing.”

However, not all was lost for Mann, who says she has become a better leader for her team and a more mature person because of the ordeal.

“You get another perspective watching on the bench versus playing,” she said. “I think I can definitely be more effective now than I would have been last year.”

The redshirt senior is ready to go for 2013-14, and her return couldn’t come soon enough for her head coach Charli Turner Thorne.

“I took a season off, Deja took a season off, so we’re both back,” Turner Thorne joked with the media, referring to her one-year sabbatical in 2011-12. “With Deja back, we have great locker room leadership… She’s a coach on the floor.”