Ailing Delle Donne likely out for Game 3 of WNBA Finals
by Field Level Media Field Level Mediaon
Regular-season MVP Elena Delle Donne of the Washington Mystics is listed as questionable for Sunday's Game 3 of the WNBA Finals against the host Connecticut Sun due to the herniated disk in her back.
Delle Donne was only able to play three minutes in Game 2 on Tuesday and an MRI exam the following day detected the herniated disk.
The injury designation might be on the optimistic side as Mystics coach Mike Thibault didn't sound like he expects to see the two-time MVP on the floor.
"I can't say anything more than what she already has -- she has a herniated disk that's pinching on a nerve," Thibault told reporters on Saturday. "She's made some progress, but she's not at the point, as of today, to play basketball. She could get up tomorrow, test it out, and see where she is, but the reality is, I don't know anything more than that. She hasn't done anything athletic all week."
Washington guard Ariel Atkins (back spasms) also is listed as questionable.
The timing of the injuries isn't good with the best-of-five series knotted at one win apiece.
"We're listing them both as questionable and preparing as if neither one of them will play," Thibault said. "Elena has made some progress, but she isn't here, nor is Ariel -- they are with our therapists and doctors right now. I'm not counting on them playing."
The 30-year-old Delle Donne averaged 19.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocked shots in 31 regular-season games. Atkins, 23, averaged 10.3 points and 1.5 steals in 33 games and is considered one of Washington's top defensive players.