WASHINGTON -- In the midst of celebrating the first championship in Washington Mystics history, Natasha Cloud revealed how severe Elena Delle Donne’s back injury was.

It was announced that Delle Donne suffered a “small herniated disc” in her back that was revealed from an MRI after Game 2. She actually has three herniated discs.

“Elena not only has one herniated disc, she has three,” Cloud dropped in her postgame press conference.

Despite the significance of her injury, Delle Donne played through it for the final three games of the WNBA Finals. In those three games, she averaged 15 points, including 21 points in the title-clinching Game 5.

The 2019 MVP has been known to play through pain. Last year’s playoff run saw her play through a nasty bone bruise in her left knee. She didn’t miss a single game through that. To this day, Delle Donne still wears a knee brace to protect it from further damage.

The full extent of the injury was supposed to be kept under wraps as Delle Donne interjected Cloud saying that the medical staff was going to kill her. Before playing in Game 3, Delle Donne even mentioned that walking was a difficult task and she couldn’t lie down otherwise her back would tighten up. 

For her third injury in her third WNBA Finals appearance, Delle Donne did whatever she could to make it on the court. She had to win her first championship and did so in her third try. 

Cloud thought it was important for everyone to know her sacrifice.


“When you’re talking about playing for the players and being a leader on this team, being one of the captains and pushing through to win us a championship, that’s a huge testament to both her and Ariel, ” Cloud said.