Seattle Storm without Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart vs. Phoenix Mercury

Seattle Storm All-Stars Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart will miss Friday’s game against the Phoenix Mercury due to injuries, head coach Gary Kloppenburg said beforehand.

Bird, who had missed nine games this season due to a bone bruise in her left knee initially suffered on July 30, reinjured the knee during a collision with Dallas Wings rookie Satou Sabally on Wednesday that left Sabally in the concussion protocol. Stewart has been dealing with tendinitis in her left foot.

Kloppenburg indicated both players would be day-to-day going forward.

“I don’t think it’s anything serious,” he said. “They aggravated what they had before. Stewie has some slight tendinitis in there. We want to be precautionary on those two.”

Entering the final weekend of the WNBA’s shortened regular season, the Storm can clinch the No. 1 overall playoff seed either with a win Friday and a loss by the Las Vegas Aces on Saturday, or by beating the Aces head-to-head in Sunday’s season finale. Wednesday’s victory over Dallas assured the Storm a top-two seed and a double-bye to the conference finals, which will give the team a week off after Sunday’s game.

Stewart, a leading candidate for the WNBA’s Most Valuable Player award, has led the Storm by averaging 19.7 points (fourth in the league) and 8.3 rebounds (9th). Bird has averaged 9.8 points and 5.2 assists in 11 games.

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