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The Phoenix Mercury will be without superstar guard Diana Taurasi for at least the next four weeks due to a fracture in her sternum, the team announced on Tuesday. 

Press release: 

Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi is expected to miss at least four weeks after suffering a chest injury in the Mercury's game on May 16 at Connecticut, the team announced today. Taurasi played the subsequent two games (May 18 at Washington, May 21 vs. Connecticut) but a CT Scan this week revealed a small fracture to her sternum. 

Early in the third quarter against the Sun back on May 16, Taurasi drove to the basket, drew a foul and fell to the ground. It looked like a fairly routine play, but Taurasi stayed down for a brief period, and was grimacing as she got back to her feet. She stayed in the game to shoot her free throws, but was clearly in some pain and grabbing at her chest. 

It goes without saying that this is a major loss for the Mercury. Even late in her career, Taurasi is still one of the best guards in the league, and was putting up 15.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game, while shooting 34.6 percent from 3-point land. She's currently second on the team in scoring, and one of just three players putting up double figures. 

For a team that has been pretty average offensively so far this season, and is short on offensive creators, they're going to struggle to replace Taurasi's production. And beyond just the numbers, Taurasi is the team's emotional leader and a fearless scorer in the clutch. Already this season she hit a game-winning 3-pointer to lift the Mercury over the Lynx. 

Beyond just the impact on the Mercury, there's also a historical aspect to Taurasi's injury. She's just six points away from becoming the first player in WNBA history to reach 9,000 career points. That milestone, at least for now, will have to wait.