Storm’s Gabby Williams likely done for season with foot injury

Kevin Pelton, ESPN Senior WriterAug 9, 2023, 08:50 PM ET

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Seattle Storm starting forward Gabby Williams suffered a stress fracture in her left foot during the first half of Tuesday’s loss to the Connecticut Sun, the team announced Wednesday. The injury will likely end her 2023 season.

Williams walked gingerly off the court with 1:04 left in Tuesday’s second quarter after appearing to roll her left ankle on Alyssa Thomas’ foot while battling for a rebound. Further evaluation Wednesday confirmed the stress fracture, which the team indicated is expected to sideline Williams 4-6 weeks.

With a little more than four weeks left in the regular season for the Storm, who are five games out of the eighth WNBA playoff spot at 7-21, that timeline will make it challenging for Williams to return in 2023.

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Seattle re-signed Williams in July after she sat out the start of the regular season due to the lingering effects of a concussion suffered while playing for French champion ASVEL, whose playoff run extended into the WNBA preseason. Williams had played 10 games for the Storm, moving into the starting lineup for the last eight after the All-Star break.

The injury happened just as Williams seemed to be getting going. She had averaged 13.0 PPG and 4.8 APG over the previous four games, three of them Seattle victories.

“Obviously, defensively she gives us a lot in terms of her versatility, her effort, her energy,” teammate Sami Whitcomb said after Tuesday’s game, before the extent of Williams’ injury was known. “She rebounds, she’s long. But then offensively I think she’s really hit her stride the last however many games now and she’s been scoring.

“We need that extra. We can’t rely so much on Jewell [Loyd] offensively. So she’s been really, I think, key in a lot of the improvements we’ve had offensively in terms of sharing the ball. When we play better, she’s a big part of that.”

In discussing the possibility of playing without Williams on Tuesday, Storm head coach Noelle Quinn cited the team’s experience before her arrival and vowed a “next woman up mentality.” Kia Nurse, who started the season’s first 20 games before being replaced by her former UConn teammate, moved back into the starting lineup for the second half of Tuesday’s game.

Seattle next hosts the Atlanta Dream on Thursday.

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