Fans were startled to hear Tamari Key’s announce her departure from the women’s basketball

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Physicians discovered blood clots in Tennessee senior center Tamari Key’s lungs, forcing her to miss the remainder of the season, the program said on Thursday.

Under the supervision of Tennessee Athletics team physicians and the University of Tennessee Medical Center, she is anticipated to fully recover.

Coach Kellie Harper characterized Key’s absence from Tennessee’s win over Chattanooga on Tuesday as “medical reasons.”

Harper released a statement saying, “At this point, my only concern is that Tamari continues to receive the medical attention and direction she requires and starts the gradual process of healing and returning to full strength.” “This is not just about basketball. We are quite appreciative that this medical issue was discovered.

“Our entire program will be right beside Tamari during this process and welcomes prayers and positive thoughts from Lady Vol Nation and beyond.”

The 6-foot-6 Key has been Tennessee’s go-to post player for years, with her consistent height advantages over opponents giving the Lady Vols an edge inside. She’s averaging 8.4 points and 4.2 rebounds per game this season with 18 blocked shots.

Last season, she averaged 10.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per contest, both career highs, while setting a program record in blocks with 119. She was named to both the Coaches and USA TODAY Sports All-SEC second teams, as well as the SEC All-Defensive and Community Service teams.

Key expressed her gratitude to the fanbase her teammates in an Instagram post addressed to “LADY VOL NATION.”

“Thank you for the support you have shown me all season long and throughout my career — support I know will continue during my recovery,” Key wrote in the post. “While I am disappointed to see my season come to an end, I am grateful to have had this issue properly identified and diagnosed. I look forward to emerging from this setback stronger than ever!

“To my teammates — your love and support means the world to me. I’ll miss being on the court with you, but I can’t wait to cheer ya’ll on as we continue to chase our goals. All for one. One for all. Go Lady Vols!”

Tennessee said in a release that those wanting to send well-wishes and encouragement to Key can do so at the following address: Lady Vol Basketball Office / 207 Thompson-Boling Arena / 1600 Phillip Fulmer Way / Knoxville, TN 37996.

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