Las Vegas Aces All-Star forward A'ja Wilson may be out for "weeks" according to head coach Bill Laimbeer. Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Laimbeer gave a brief update on Wilson's status following the ankle injury she suffered on Friday during the team's loss to the Seattle Storm. There has still been no official announcement on Wilson's timeline from the team.
A few minutes into the third quarter against the Storm, Wilson came over to provide help defense on Jordin Canada, and landed awkwardly after trying to block the Storm guard's shot-turned-pass. She stayed on the floor as play continued down the other end, and was eventually helped to the locker room after being examined by the Aces' medical staff.
A short time later, the Aces announced that Wilson had suffered an ankle sprain, and that she would be re-evaluated in Las Vegas. Since then, they have provided no further update on her status, but given Laimbeer's quote, it sounds like she'll be out for a while. Wilson did not play on Sunday against the Minnesota Lynx, and pictures posted on social media showed she arrived at the game in a walking boot.
One slight bit of good news for the Aces is that Wilson's injury came ahead of the All-Star break, so they have just one game in the next eight days. That may end up limiting the number of games that she ends up missing. Even still, this is a bummer on all accounts.
Wilson is in the midst of another stellar campaign in her sophomore season, averaging 15.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game, and was named one of the captains for this week's All-Star Game, which is set to be hosted by the Aces in Las Vegas. She will still serve in that role, but will not play in the game afterby Minnesota Lynx rookie Napheesa Collier, and will now largely miss out on what would have been a special moment so early in her career.
For the Aces, they lose one of the best bigs in the league, and one half of their fearsome frontcourt duo. Along with fellow All-Star Liz Cambage, Wilson helped form one of the best front lines in a league. In 271 minutes together, Wilson and Cambage have posted a net rating of plus-10.8 points. While Dearica Hamby has had quite an underrated season, she'll have her work cut out for her in terms of replacing Wilson, as Sunday's game showed, when she played a whopping 38 minutes due to the Aces' lack of frontcourt depth.
Plus, Wilson's injury comes during a season of turmoil for the WNBA, which is already without so many star players due to injuries and absences. You never want to see any player get hurt, but it's especially rough to see one of the bright young faces of the league go down with a significant injury right before the All-Star Game. That Wilson was supposed to captain the game only makes the loss of star power worse.