When Washington Mystics forward Monique Currie tore the ACL in her left knee in January, the team expected her to miss the entire 2011 season. But after progressing through the rehab process ahead of schedule, Currie will return to the Mystics lineup Thursday night when Washington hosts Atlanta, according to a team-issued press release.  

Mystics Coach Trudi Lacey had hinted in July that Currie might be able to make a late-season return, and it appears that scenario will come to fruition. Barring a setback, Currie will be available to play in four of Washington’s final five games. She will not play Friday at Atlanta (16-13), the Mystics’ second contest in as many days. 

Washington (5-24) has lost 10 of its past 11 games – including nine straight defeats – and will look to receive a boost from Currie, who averaged 14.1 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest in 2010. Currie, a six-year veteran, also shot 44.6 percent from three-point range last season. The Mystics are shooting 33.6 percent from beyond the arc this year, which ranks No. 10 in the 12-team WNBA. 

As a dismal season winds to a close, Washington has been in a bit of flux recently. Lacey restructured the starting lineup during Tuesday’s game at Minnesota to include three new members. Rookie point guard Jasmine Thomas, forward DeMaya Walker and Kerri Gardin joined forward Crystal Langhorne and guard Matee Ajavon as starters. It was the first time this summer Lacey altered the starting lineup by choice and not due to injury.  

Thomas, Walker and Gardin combined to shoot 6 for 23 (26 percent) from the field, and the Mystics lost, 73-56.