Reigning WNBA Rookie of the Year and former No. 1 overall pick A’ja Wilson will be out indefinitely as she recovers from a left ankle sprain she suffered during Friday’s game.
Wilson suffered the injury during the third quarter of Friday’s game against the Seattle Storm when she collided with teammate Liz Cambage and collapsed to the floor. She had to be helped off the court and did not return to the game.
After undergoing an MRI in Las Vegas, Wilson attended Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Lynx with a walking boot and crutches.
Wilson will be hard to replace, as evidenced by her All-Star appearances in both her WNBA seasons. She leads the Aces with 15.8 points and adds 6.7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game after averaging 20.7, 8.0 and 1.7 last year.
It’s never an ideal time for a team to lose its best player, but Wilson’s injury does come two weeks before free agents are eligible to sign for the rest of the season. Laimbeer said that the team would consider signing someone to replace Wilson.
The Aces have some cushion in the standings, given their hot start. At 11-6, they have a half-game lead over the Storm in the Western Conference and trail the Connecticut Sun by a win for the league's best record. The playoffs also don’t start until Oct. 20, so Wilson should have plenty of time to recover before her absence would truly sting.
Wilson hasn’t had a particularly long injury history, although she did suffer a minor knee injury while playing in China last fall. Poor WNBA pay that forces players to play year-round oversees is a major sticking point for players in upcoming WNBA CBA negotiations, and Wilson has been outspoken about her disdain for the league’s salary structure.
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