WASHINGTON — Washington Mystics star Elena Delle Donne has a herniated disk in her back.
The league’s Most Valuable Player left Game 2 of the WNBA Finals on Tuesday night after playing only a few minutes in the first quarter because of back spasms. She didn’t return, and an MTI revealed the herniated disk Wednesday. Delle Donne is undergoing treatment and the team said it would update her status Saturday. The series is tied 1-1, with Game 3 at Connecticut on Sunday.
Washington coach Mike Thibault said after the game that when Delle Donne went up for her first layup, her back “grabbed on her,“ and she immediately asked to be subbed out.
The 6-foot-5 forward has dealt with illnesses and injuries throughout her career as she's battled Lyme disease while in college at Delaware and it has flared up during her pro career a few times. While she was playing with Chicago, Delle Donne dealt with back issues that limited her in the Finals in 2014.
Last season, she helped the Mystics reach the championship round despite suffering a bone bruise in her knee in Game 2 of the semifinal series against the Atlanta Dream. She missed the third game, but returned for the final two contests of that series to help Washington make the WNBA Finals for the first time.
Seattle swept that series last year.
This season she missed a few games during the regular season because of knee issues and a broken nose.