Mystics’ Elena Delle Donne exits loss to Sun with apparent ankle injury ahead of All-Star Game

Washington Mystics & # 39;  Elena Delle Donne listens to head coach Eric Thibault during a WNBA basketball game against the Chicago Sky on Thursday, June 22, 2023 in Chicago.  (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Washington Mystics star Elena Delle Donne re-injured her left ankle in the second quarter of a 92-84 loss to the Connecticut Sun on Sunday afternoon.

With one minute and 20 seconds remaining in the second half, the former WNBA MVP was seen limping to the locker room after landing on DeWanna Donner’s foot in an effort to challenge a mid-range jumper . She was officially ruled out with a sprained ankle in a team announcement A little after.

After the game, head coach Eric Thibault told reporters that the team would know more about Delle Donne’s status after returning to DC, but added that she was “frustrated” more than anything, according to the NBC Sports Washington commentator. Tyler Byrum.

Playing just 13 minutes, she recorded two rebounds, two assists and two steals. It comes after she sprained the same ankle late in the Mystics’ 94-89 loss to the Atlanta Dream on June 30.

For the Sun, DeWanna Bonner and Alyssa Thomas scored or assisted on 67% of Connecticut’s points in the win, according to ESPN.

Bonner recorded 28 points, four rebounds and four assists, while Thomas added 22 points, nine rebounds and six assists.

The Mystics were led by Tianna Hawkins, who scored 24 of 10 points on 12 shooting from the field and four rebounds.

Delle Donne was day-to-day for the next two games but was allowed to return ahead of Sunday’s game, even while warming up without splint or bandage. While it’s unclear how long she’ll be sidelined, it seems likely that she won’t be able to play in the next All-Star Game as she had hoped.

The three-time WNBA All-Star starter was last picked in Saturday’s All-Star Game draft by Las Vegas Aces star A’ja Wilson ahead of the upcoming game on July 15 at Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas.

When Delle Donne took to social media to joke about her late selection, ESPN’s LaChina Robinson assured her that uncertainty over her availability was the deciding factor.

The 33-year-old has been hampered by back injuries for the past three seasons and looked to be back in top form this summer. Heading into Sunday’s game, she was averaging 19.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists.

She and Thomas headlined the 12 reserve roster in this year’s All-Star Game. Delle Donne even appeared to confirm she could play in the event when Wilson askedresponding with a GIF of herself masking.

While Delle Donne’s potential absence from the All-Star Game is unfortunate for fans, his absence is a major loss for the 10-8 Mystics. The shorthanded team committed 18 turnovers and struggled on defense, especially in the fourth quarter in Sunday’s loss.

Washington was without starting center Shakira Austin, who went down June 25 with a hip injury that is expected to sideline her for at least three weeks. Guard Natasha Cloud was also out with an ankle injury she suffered this week. Guard Kristi Toliver was released on June 16 with plantar fasciitis in her foot.

While the team remains hopeful of a quick return from Delle Donne, they expect Toliver to be back sometime after the all-star break.

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