The Chicago Sky suffered a disappointing 80-76 loss to the Dallas Wings on Tuesday night. More concerning than the defeat, however, was that star forward Candace Parker suffered another ankle injury and had to leave the game after just 16 minutes.
In the middle of the third quarter, Parker set a screen for Courtney Vandersloot and rolled to the basket. As she tried to create some space in the paint, she collided with Kayla Thornton, who was running baseline to try and keep up with Azura Stevens. In the process, Parker rolled her ankle and immediately collapsed to the ground in pain. Her cries were audible on the game broadcast as you can hear.
Parker was able to get up and hobbled to the bench at the next dead ball, then spent some time talking to the medical staff. She did not return to the game, however, and it's unclear when she'll be back on the court. Sky coach James Wade addressed the situation postgame, and said the team will know more in the coming days.
"We're going to evaluate it over the next couple of days and we'll see how it responds," Wade said.
The good news is Wade said this injury isn't as bad as the one Parker suffered earlier in the season. The bad news is it's the same ankle she sprained back in May. On that occasion, Parker ended up missing eight games, during which the Sky went 1-7 to fall into an early hole they're still trying to escape from. For the season, the Sky are now 10-3 when Parker plays the entire game and 1-8 without her for at least a significant portion.
With the loss against the Wings, the Sky are now 11-11 on the season and down into sixth place. Coming out of the Olympic break, they had their sights set on chasing a top-four seed, and possibly even top-two if they took advantage of their numerous matchups with the Seattle Storm and Las Vegas Aces.
Now, depending on the severity of Parker's injury, they could be in a battle just to make the playoffs. They're only 1.5 games ahead of the ninth-place Washington Mystics, who are expected to get Elena Delle Donne back from injury soon.