Injured Griner, Delle Donne will miss WNBA All-Star game
NEW YORK — It was a tough week of injuries in the WNBA with both Brittney Griner and Elena Delle Donne getting sidelined.
Griner injured her left knee and right ankle on Friday night in a loss to Minnesota. The WNBA's leading scorer is expected to be out a month. On the same night, Delle Donne sprained her right ankle. She was in a walking boot on Sunday when her Washington Mystics got blown out by the New York Liberty. Both are expected to miss Saturday's All-Star game.
"As the President of the WNBA, and as someone who absolutely loves watching our players play, it's unfortunate when any player is injured," WNBA President Lisa Borders told The Associated Press. "You feel for them, you feel for their team, and you feel for the fans who love watching them play. We take our players' health very seriously but, as with any sport, injuries are, unfortunately, a part of the game."
This is the third time that Delle Donne has missed an All-Star game because of injury or illness. She had a concussion in 2013 and a recurrence of Lyme Disease the next year. Griner also missed the 2013 WNBA All-Star Game because of a knee injury.
While both Griner and Delle Donne will return this season, Washington lost Tayler Hill for the year with a torn ACL against Indiana in the same game Delle Donne was injured .
"For so many reasons I feel bad for her," Washington coach Mike Thibault said. "She's been working so hard to improve her game."
There was no movement this week, the Lynx and Sparks still lead the way. Here's a look at this week's WNBA poll.
1) Minnesota (15-2): The Lynx just continue rolling along, including a home-and-home sweep of Phoenix.
2) Los Angeles (14-5): The Sparks are 8-0 at home and are playing more consistently on both ends of the floor.
3) Connecticut (12-8): The Sun won a hard-fought game at Seattle and continue to impress with their play this season.
4) Phoenix (11-8): Two losses to Minnesota are understandable. The Mercury will have to figure a way to stay afloat without injured center Brittney Griner, who leads the league in scoring.
5) Washington (11-9): The Mystics are waiting to see how long Elena Delle Donne's injured left ankle will keep her out. They have one more game before the All-Star break.
6) New York (9-9): The Liberty changed the lineup and routed a short-handed Washington team. They have a huge game against Connecticut on Wednesday.
7) Seattle (9-10): After the All-Star break the Storm embark on a long road trip. They'll need to figure out a way to win away from home if they want to make the postseason.
8) Dallas (10-11): Split a pair of games with Chicago, winning at home in double overtime after Skylar Diggins-Smith nailed a 3-pointer at the end of the first OT.
9) Atlanta (8-10): With two games this week the Dream hope to get back to .500 at the All-Star break.
10) Indiana (7-12): The Fever hold the WNBA record with 12 consecutive postseason appearances. That streak is in jeopardy.
11) Chicago (6-13): One defensive stop away from a four-game winning streak. Stefanie Dolson and Courtney Vandersloot are a big reason why the season has turned around for the Sky.
12) San Antonio (2-17): Stars got Moriah Jefferson back from a concussion, but lost Kayla McBride to an ankle injury.
GAME OF THE WEEK
All-Star Game, Saturday. East meets West in the league's All-Star Game in Seattle. There will be several new faces in the game as a handful of first-time All-Stars will make their debuts. The league also decided to bring back the 3-point shootout.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Courtney Vandersloot, Sky. She averaged 11.3 points, 10.3 assists and 4.7 rebounds to help the Sky go 2-1 this week. Other players receiving votes included Minnesota's Sylvia Fowles and Los Angeles' Nneka Ogwumike.