Roster woes continue for the Washington Mystics as it is expected for the team to be without guard/forward Aerial Powers for the remainder of the 2020 season.
Head coach Mike Thibault told reporters on Thursday that the 26-year-old is "probably not coming back" this season. Powers has been out since she suffered a hamstring injury on Aug. 7 against the New York Liberty.
With the team not being in a position to focus on defending its maiden 2019 WNBA championship, the franchise is now looking to prepare for the 2021 season when all of the team's stars come back. For Thibault and his staff, they feel it is not worth pushing to bring Powers back. With a heightened chance to reinjure her hamstring with games basically every other day, it could cause longer issues for her and the team.
"She really wanted to try and come back and finish the last couple of weeks, but I think for her long-term health, there's no point in risking that," Thibault said. "I think she needs to start the healing process right now and she's got some structural issues that, not damage but structural issues that we can get to work on by getting her started with somebody right now."
He says the team will make an official move in the next 24 hours.
Now losing Powers, means there are only four players left from last year's championship squad. Three players did not return to the team in the offseason, two more players opted-out, Elena Delle Donne is out rehabbing her back, Shey Peddy was waived last week and now there is Powers' injury. That leaves only two of the top eight scorers (Emma Meesseman, Ariel Atkins and Tianna Hawkins) on the remaining active roster for the season.
Myisha Hines-Allen is the fourth player who played last season that is still on the 2020 team.
Before Powers' injury, she was having a career-year in six games. She had started every contest and had career-best averages in points (16.3), rebounds (4.8), assists (2.5), steals (1.5) as well as a 46.4% shooting clip. Earlier in the year against the Connecticut Sun, she set a career-high in points with 27 on 10-for-14 shooting.
The rest of the roster consists of Leilani Mitchell and several young players and rookies that have yet to prove themselves in the WNBA. First-year player Stella Johnson showed out with her opportunity by scoring 25 points in a win against the Dream.