Sabrina Ionescu is officially leaving the Wubble.
The Oregon superstar and New York Liberty No.1 pick will head back to the Big Apple to visit a foot and ankle specialist after suffering what was diagnosed as a Grade 3 ankle sprain against the Atlanta Dream on Friday.
The Liberty confirmed the news Wednesday.
IONESCU INJURY UPDATE: New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu, who exited last Friday’s game against the Atlanta Dream in the second quarter due to an ankle sprain, is traveling to New York on Wednesday, August 5 to see an ankle and foot specialist.— New York Liberty (@nyliberty) August 5, 2020
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The injury occurred when Ionescu stepped on Betnijah Laney’s foot while bringing the ball up the court. The 22-year-old fell to the floor and had to be helped to the locker room. She was seen on crutches Sunday.
By seeing a specialist outside the WNBA Bubble, Ionescu will be able to confirm the severity of the sprain. If it is indeed a Grade 3, the most serious type of ankle sprain, Ionescu’s rookie season is in jeopardy, considering the season is only 22 games long. A Grade 3 sprain can take several weeks to several months to heal.
The injury certainly throws a wrench in the Ionescu’s ROY contention. After Ionescu shot just 4-of-17 from the field in her WNBA debut, she dropped 33 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists in the Liberty’s 93-80 loss to the Dallas Wings.
In her first three appearances, Ionescu was averaging 18.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists.
The Liberty are currently 0-4 and in a rebuilding year with seven rookies on their 12-player roster. New York is not expected to make the postseason and will likely have six weeks remaining of their season.
If or when Ionescu returns to the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, she’ll have to undergo the required 4-7 day quarantine period, as outlined by the coronavirus health and safety protocols. She’ll also have more rounds of COVID-19 testing to follow upon her arrival.
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