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Ian Mahinmi leaves Wizards loss to Sixers with back injury

Ian Mahinmi leaves Wizards loss to Sixers with back injury

Wizards big man Ian Mahinmi's bad luck with injuries this season continued on Friday night, as the big man did not appear in the second half of Washington's loss to the Sixers in Philadelphia on Friday due to back tightness.

Head coach Scott Brooks explained the injury as minor following the game.

"His back tighened up on him. I don’t think it’s too serious. I didn’t want to throw him out there in the second half, knowing that it was tight at halftime," Brooks said.

Mahinmi described the discomfort as back spasms to Wizards Insider J. Michael"

This is the latest in a long injury saga for Mahinmi this season. The 30-year-old first suffered a torn left meniscus in Philly during the preseason and had surgery on Oct. 15. He later returned on Nov. 26 against the Spurs, only to go back down again with right knee tendinitis.

Mahinmi remained out until Feb. 8 against the Brooklyn Nets after undergoing platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment on both knees in December. Friday was his fifth game back and his sixth of the season so far.

The Wizards signed Mahinmi to a four-year, $64 million contract in free agency this past summer.

[RELATED: VIDEO: Lights go out at arena during Sixers-Wizards game]

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NBA, NBAPA agree to move up start of free agency by six hours

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NBA, NBAPA agree to move up start of free agency by six hours

The Woj bombs are gonna start dropping a little earlier this year. 

The NBA and the NBA Players Association announced Friday that the two parties have agreed to move up the start of free agency by six hours. Teams can now begin negotiating with free agents at 6 p.m. ET on June 30 instead of having to wait until 12:01 ET on July 1. 

The move ensures fans -- and eternally grateful media members -- don't have to stay up until midnight waiting for the madness that is NBA free agency to begin. As Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports put it, this is "quite possibly the best thing to happen with NBA free agency in years!" 

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What to know about the Washington Mystics season opener

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What to know about the Washington Mystics season opener

The Mystics reached their first WNBA Finals in franchise history in 2018 but were swept by the Seattle Storm in the championship series.

Elle Delle Donne -- who was recently named in WNBA.com's GM survey as the favorite to win league MVP -- is back for her third season in Washington.

Though she is out for the opener, Delle Donne believes the team is ready to make another run at the title thanks to the return of All-Star forward Emma Meesseman. 

Earlier Friday, the Mystics announced their final 12-woman roster for the 2019 season. Delle Donne and guard Kristi Toliver headline a team that includes nine returners from the 2018 team, as well as Meesseman, who played for the Mystics from 2013-17 but sat out in 2018 to focus on playing for the Belgian national team. The final roster spots went to WNBA rookies Kiara Leslie and Kim Mestdagh.

According to ESPN, the Mystics, Los Angeles Sparks and Las Vegas Aces are the favorites to win the championship this season.

The WNBA's 23rd season kicks of Friday night at 7:30 p.m. ET when the Atlanta Dream host the Dallas Wings.

MYSTICS VS. SUN HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Mystics vs. Connecticut Sun, Regular Season Game 1

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT

When: 7:30 p.m. ET

Live Stream: You can live stream on WNBA's League Pass website by signing up for a free trial

NBC Sports Washington will be broadcasting 10 Mystics home games during the 2019 WNBA season. For the full regular season schedule, click here.

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