Washington's Elena Delle Donne injured knee, helped off court in playoff loss to Dream

Ryan Young
Yahoo Sports Contributor

Washington forward Elena Delle Donne took a nasty fall late in the fourth quarter of the Mystics semifinal Game 2 game matchup against the Atlanta Dream on Tuesday night and had to be helped off the court.

Delle Donne, who was an All-Star captain earlier this year, slipped as she was driving the ball to the hoop and her left knee seemed to bend out of place. She had to be helped off the court, and did not return.

“I mean, I’m walking,” Delle Donne said after the game, via ESPN’s Mechelle Voepel. “The swelling isn’t terrible. I’ll go home [Wednesday] and see our doctors, and see what they say. But I’m hopeful to be back in the lineup Friday.”

Delle Donne finished with a game-high 27 points, 14 rebounds and six assists in the Mystics’ 78-75 loss.

According to Voepel, Delle Donne was evaluated by the Dream’s team doctor on Tuesday night, and will fly back to Washington D.C. on Wednesday to be evaluated further.

While Mystics coach Mike Thibault didn’t want to speculate as to the extent of the former league MVP’s injury, reaching the WNBA Finals could prove to be a tough task without her. She dropped 32 points in their Game 1 win over the Dream, and has averaged more than 20 points and six rebounds per game all season.

“I guess I’m cautiously optimistic, but I really don’t know,” Thibault said, via ESPN’s Mechelle Voepel. “I don’t even feel like saying much until I really know something. I’m not going to overthink it. We’ve been through it before with Elena missing games, and we’ve won some. It’s a lot harder at playoff time, but we won a game in Phoenix earlier this year [in May] that no one gave us a chance to win, and we didn’t have her or Natasha Cloud.

“We just have to see what happens when we get back. You hope our veterans come together. And if you have the culture, you do the right things, which we have. I expect us to compete no matter who’s out there.”

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