Asia Durr, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 WNBA Draft, will miss a second straight season due to COVID-19 complications. On Wednesday, the New York Liberty placed Durr on the full-season suspended list with "personal decision" as the qualification. That decision cannot be reversed, which means Durr won't play this season.
Durr initially tested positive for COVID-19 last June ahead of the 2020 WNBA season and had to opt out of the bubble upon the advice of her doctors. Unfortunately, her recovery has been slow. In an interview earlier this year, Durr revealed that she had lost 32 pounds, still struggles with symptoms and still has "no timetable" for her recovery.
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"I haven't been able to [practice basketball]," Durr told HBO's Real Sports. "It's really challenging for me. But I've talked to doctors and they've told me I'm not cleared yet. I'm not cleared to be able to do anything physically, which could cause flare-ups ... And that's what's really hard for me because in life whenever something was hard I would go and play. I can't even do that now. I can't even shoot a free throw."
While Durr was doing all she could to get back on the court for this season, Liberty coach Walt Hopkins told the media last month that it was unlikely she would be ready. "I don't know that we're gonna get to see her this year, she's still battling with so much," Hopkins said. "We're doing all we can to support her."
After finishing with a league-worst 2-20 record last season, the Liberty made a number of big moves in the winter to acquire Natasha Howard, Sami Whitcomb and Betnijah Laney. Last year's No. 1 overall pick, Sabrina Ionescu, will also be back after playing just three games as a rookie due to an ankle injury.
As a result, the Liberty are hoping to get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2017. They'll begin their season on Friday, May 14 with a home game against the Indiana Fever.