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Phoenix Mercury star Diana Taurasi will miss the remainder of the 2022 WNBA season with a quad injury, the team announced Monday. Veteran guard Yvonne Turner, who previously played with the Mercury from 2017-19, was signed to a hardship contract to replace Taurasi on the roster. 

After playing just 41 games in the last three regular seasons combined, Taurasi had been healthy for the majority of this season. She had played in all 31 of the Mercury's games up to Aug. 2, averaging 31 minutes per game. She then suffered a quad strain and had missed the last two games before being shut down for the season. 

Now 40, Taurasi admitted earlier this summer that retirement has been on her mind in the wake of longtime friend and rival Sue Bird's decision to call it a career at the end of this season. 

"Looking back on it, it's been incredible to be in a job with your best friend for 20 years," Taurasi said. "You don't get to do that, most people don't get to do that in any job, let alone basketball. So, it's been an incredible journey.

"Seeing how happy she is going through her retirement years made me really think about that long winter. When the season ends, I'll be a free agent and I'll see what's best for me. I don't know what that is right now. It's always something that as you get older as an athlete, you start thinking about and you start really kind of bouncing off ideas on [wife] Penny [Taylor] and my close friends and people that I really respect and trust their opinion."

This is not the way Taurasi would want to go out, but given her age, previous comments and yet another injury, it's at least fair to wonder if we've seen the last of the WNBA's all-time leading scorer. To that point, it's also worth reiterating that Taurasi is a free agent at the end of this season. 

Late last month, Taurasi made history by becoming the first player in league history to score 30 points at age 40 or older. Only Michael Jordan and Dirk Nowitzki have done so in the NBA. But that game and a few other strong performances aside, this was a tough year for Taurasi. Though she still put up solid counting stats at 16.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game, she too often failed to make her usual impact. She shot just 37.3 percent from the field, and the team was markedly better on the defensive end when she was off the floor. 

Heading into the final week of the regular season, the Mercury are 14-19 and sitting in eighth place. Their grasp on the final playoff spot is quite tenuous, however, as they're just a half-game ahead of the ninth-place Liberty and one game ahead of the Lynx and Sparks in 10th and 11th place, respectively. 

The Mercury will close the season with games against the Lynx, Wings and first-place Sky.