The Connecticut Sun will be without starting point guard Jasmine Thomas for the remainder of the 2022 season due to a torn ACL in her right knee, the team announced on Tuesday. No timetable for Thomas' surgery or recovery has been given.
Thomas suffered the injury during the Sun's win over the Indiana Fever on May 22. Late in the first quarter, she drove to the basket off a screen from Brionna Jones and got bumped in mid-air. There was no whistle on the play and the contact caused Thomas to land awkwardly on one leg. She immediately screamed in pain and remained on the floor while play continued.
"Of course, I'm sad that I won't be able to continue playing on the court with this special team," Thomas said. "Everyone has been supportive and uplifting, and I'm just preparing mentally and emotionally to attack my recovery. I will continue to be a vocal leader and support my team from the sidelines. They're incredible and I'm excited about what they're going to achieve."
While Thomas doesn't typically put up big numbers -- she's averaging 6.6 points and three assists per game this season -- she is a crucial part of this Sun team thanks to her leadership and defense. One of the best perimeter defenders in the game, Thomas is a five-time All-Defensive selection and is a major reason the Sun are on pace to have the best defense in the league for the second straight season.
With Thomas out for the season, fourth-year guard Natisha Hiedeman -- who is actually engaged to Thomas -- will have to take on a much bigger role. Hiedeman is an elite 3-point shooter who could offer the Sun more of an offensive threat, but is not as good of a defender. The likes of Courtney Williams and Yvonne Anderson will also see more playing time, and it wouldn't be a surprise if the Sun try to add another veteran guard at some point in the next few weeks.
The Sun are off to a flying start at 4-1, and have one of the most talented rosters in the league. They should remain one of the best teams in the league over the course of the regular season, but this is a major blow to their championship aspirations.