Mystics’ Elena Delle Donne questionable for Game 3 of WNBA Finals

1:54 PM ET


CloseMechelle Voepel covers the WNBA, women’s college basketball, and other college sports for espnW. Voepel began covering women’s basketball in 1984, and has been with ESPN since 1996.

The Washington Mystics Elena Delle Donne is listed as questionable for Sunday’s Game 3 of the WNBA Finals, as is fellow starter Ariel Atkins.

Mystics coach Mike Thibault said the team is preparing as if neither one will play, according to the Washington Post.

Delle Donne, the league MVP, who has a herniated disk in her back, was limited to just over 3 minutes of playing time before leaving Game 2, which the Connecticut Sun won 99-87 on Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

Delle Donne, 30, had an MRI on Wednesday, and has been receiving treatment since then. She had averaged 21.4 points and 7.6 rebounds in the first five games of the playoffs before the back injury forced her out early on Tuesday, when she was scoreless.

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The Mystics have outscored the Sun by 12 points with Delle Donne on the court in the WNBA Finals, and have been outscored by 15 when she’s off the court.

Atkins, who is dealing with back spasms, is averaging 7.3 points and 3.0 assists in the playoffs thus far. She’s also one of the Mystics’ top perimeter defenders. She had 21 points and five rebounds in the WNBA Finals opener, a 95-86 Mystics victory. But she played just 18 minutes in Game 2, scoring five points.

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