Back in 2018, Elena Delle Donne led the Washington Mystics to WNBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. Unfortunately, due to a knee injury she sustained in the semi-finals, she was nowhere near 100 percent, and the Mystics ended up getting swept by the Seattle Storm. 

Last season, she returned with a greater focus and determination to not let that happen again, and put together an MVP season as she led the Mystics to the best record in the league, and a second straight trip to the Finals. Then, a back injury which turned out to be three herniated discs forced her out of Game 2, and it looked like disaster was going to strike again for EDD and the Mystics. But somehow, she soldiered on through the pain, and helped the Mystics take down the Connecticut Sun in five games to bring the franchise their first WNBA title. 

Now, though, she's paying the price for playing through injury. On Wednesday, the team announced that Delle Donne underwent back surgery to repair the injury she played through in the playoffs. 

Washington Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne successfully underwent minor surgery on her back on Friday, Jan. 24, to repair the injury she sustained during the 2019 WNBA Playoffs. The surgery was performaed in Dallas, TX, by spinal orthopedist Dr. Andrew Dossett. An update on her status will be provided at the beginning of training camp, but Delle Donne is expected to return to play by the beginning of the WNBA season.

There's really no such thing as "minor" back surgery, especially when you're already on the wrong side of 30, so this is at least a slight concern for Delle Donne and the Mystics. But the fact that it went well and she's expected to be ready for the start of the season is good news. 

Delle Donne is an unrestricted free agent this winter, but is expected to return to the Mystics. Free agency opened up on Tuesday, but the moratorium prevents any deals from being finalized until Feb. 10.