As her sophomore season in the WNBA dwindled, Chicago Sky forward Elena Delle Donne sat at home in Delaware receiving treatments for a flare-up of her Lyme disease symptoms. But with eight games left in the season, Delle Donne is done taking it easy.
Whether or not she’s ready, Delle Donne has rejoined the Sky (10-16) and is a game-day decision to play Thursday against New York.
“If I waited to be 100 percent I would’ve missed the whole season,” Delle Donne said.
For a while, it was looking like that might be the case. Delle Donne (21.2 points per game) has played just once in the last 17 games, as the Sky continued to spiral downward. In the one game she did play – a 79-69 loss at Connecticut – Delle Donne only managed to stay on the floor for 17 minutes before coach Pokey Chatman took her out.
The next day Delle Donne left the team to receive treatment in Delaware.
“At first I only wanted to be home for two weeks,” Delle Donne said. “But I needed a lot more time than that. I’m hoping that all of those treatments were able to build my immune system.”
Delle Donne isn’t even sure how Chatman plans to use her going forward. The Sky aren’t out of the playoff race, but sitting 6.5 games back of first place in the Eastern Conference, they aren’t exactly in it, either.
The plan will likely be to limit Delle Donne’s minutes – especially as she continues to heal – and Delle Donne admitted her first goal is to provide energy and leadership to the team.
“We’ll have to go with the flow,” Delle Donne said.
As has been the case since her symptoms -- primarily fatigue and migraine headaches -- resurfaced, the Sky can only take things day by day when it comes to Delle Donne. The forward has been going through daily workouts, but that’s not an indicator of how she'll feel the next day.
Whenever the offseason arrives for the Sky, Delle Donne plans to return home to Delaware to continue treatment. For now, she’s just looking to step onto the court when the Liberty visits Thursday night.
“It’s just all based on symptoms,” Delle Donne said. “If I feel good tomorrow I’m going to go.”