NEW YORK (AP) — It’s been a rough start to the WNBA season with so many stars sidelined due to injures.
Diana Taurasi, Candace Parker, Nneka Ogwumike and Natasha Howard are among those who have missed extended time.
And that list doesn’t include players who were out before the season even began, like Elena Delle Donne, Angel McCoughtry, Bria Hartley and Alyssa Thomas.
“It’s magnified when it’s some of the elite players,” said Sun coach Curt Miller, whose team moved back to No. 1 in the AP power poll this week. “We had it before the start of the season with Alyssa Thomas, (Alysha) Clark, Angel. There seemed to be a wave of injuries. It’s more magnified when you don’t have star players. It’s disappointing to see.”
Miller didn’t see any trend as to why the injuries are happening. The league’s preseason schedule was its usual length of roughly three weeks.
Taurasi hurt her sternum in a game and Parker injured her ankle in shootaround on game-day. Ogwumike and Howard suffered knee injuries during games.
With teams only carrying 11 or 12 players on their rosters, the rash of injuries have left them scrambling. Minnesota, New York, Los Angeles and a few other squads have gotten emergency hardship exceptions allowing them to have 10 players available for each game since their rosters had fallen below that number.
These hardships also take into account when a player is away from a team for other reasons, including fulfilling an overseas commitment.
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