Elena Delle Donne injury update: Mystics star gives update on health status ahead of Game 4 of WNBA Finals

Elena Delle Donne was in the starting lineup for Game 3 of the 2019 WNBA Finals despite a herniated disk in her back, and managed to play quite well despite obviously being in pain on the floor. Finishing with 13 points and six rebounds, her presence was vital to the Mystic's big win over the Sun on the road. Now, they're just one win away from their first title. 

Ahead of Tuesday's Game 4, Delle Donne offered an update on her health status. As it stands, she's expected to play, but that could change depending on how her back responds to treatment in the coming days. 

"I do a lot of deep breathing to try and help loosen my muscles and focus away from the pain," Delle Donne told reporters on Monday afternoon. "But yeah, I'm trying to do whatever's possible to just be out there."

"I'm thinking about [the pain] all the time," she continued. "I didn't even know there was a crowd here because I was so, just, feeling my back. It's just frustrating, especially like when I get the ball and I know with my normal body I can drive by or pull up, and just knowing, like 'I gotta pass it right now and go space out.' So I'm hoping tomorrow I'll feel better than yesterday, but you never really know."

Just a few minutes into Game 2 last Tuesday, Delle Donne checked out of the game and immediately made her way to the locker room. She didn't return due to what the team later announced was back spasms, and without her the Mystics lost to the Sun.

As it turned out, the problem was even worse for the recently named MVP. Last week, the Mystics announced that Delle Donne underwent an MRI and was diagnosed with a herniated disk in her back. 

The Mystics likely have the extremely long break between Games 2 and 3 to thank for Delle Donne being ready to play in Game 3. It was clear she wasn't at her best, but her presence was still a big boost for the Mystics -- especially after what happened last season. 

Delle Donne hyperextended her knee against the Dream in the semifinals last season, and although she fought through the injury to return to the court, she wasn't herself, and the Mystics had no chance against the Storm with her hobbling around out there. As she fights through the pain to try and will her team to victory, it's clear that Delle Donne wants to make sure that doesn't happen this time around. 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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