For the first time since celebrating the 2019 WNBA championship, Elena Delle Donne is probable to play a basketball game as the Mystics are set to play the Seattle Storm this Sunday, according to the team.
Delle Donne has been rehabilitating an injury to her back for the past year and a half. In the WNBA Finals, she battled through three herniated discs in her back on top of having to wear a mask to protect her from a nasal injury earlier in the season. There have been two procedures and a long process to get back to this point. She told the media back in April that she had to readjust how to sit, move and play on a basketball court in a way that helps take pressure off her back.
Once the team returned to practice from the Olympic break, Delle Donne was close in her progression. She said the final step for her was consistently playing five-on-five at practice with no limitations.
A return to the hardwood by an MVP is much needed for the 8-13 Mystics. The franchise has lost three straight games, all where Washington was leading by double digits. Currently, they are half a game out of the playoffs and also are a long way away from a favorable seed in the WNBA playoff bracket.
She'll join fellow former MVP Tina Charles for the first time since Charles came over in a trade with the New York Liberty.
When Delle Donne was last on the floor, she had just earned her second MVP - her first in Washington. She became the first WNBA player ever to join the 50-40-90 shooting percentage club. Her 19.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game were some of the best averages in her career.
The Mystics and Storm play at 3:00 on ESPN Sunday.