The New York Liberty’s first overall pick will be sidelined for quite some time.
Things were looking up for the New York Liberty in 2020. They held the first overall pick, which allowed them to select Oregon Ducks superstar Sabrina Ionescu to lead their franchise to glory for years to come. The rookie made her debut inside the WNBA bubble at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., but will now be on the sidelined for a decent chunk of time.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Ionescu suffered a Grade 3 left ankle sprain during Friday’s game against the Atlanta Dream and is expected to miss approximately one month. The Liberty announced that they are still reviewing Ionescu’s progress, but doesn’t believe she’ll require surgery, as an x-ray showed that she didn’t suffer a fracture.
Ionescu out after three games in her rookie season
Ionescu suffered the injury after stepping on the foot of Atlanta’s Betnijah Laney, causing her to roll her ankle. Afterward, the rookie had to be helped off the court and was immediately taken to a nearby hospital.
The injury came one game after Ionescu lit up the Dallas Wings on Wednesday for 33 points, seven assists and seven rebounds in the Liberty’s 93-80 loss. This season, Ionescu has averaged 18.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 26.6 minutes, while shooting 45.2% from the field.
New York will keep an eye on swelling, but it’s important to note that ankle sprains are notoriously tricky. If Ionescu were to be out of action for one month, she’ll be able to return toward the tail end of the truncated WNBA season. Until then, Ionescu and the Liberty will have to play the waiting game.