Sky's Candace Parker out vs. Sabrina Ionescu, Liberty with Ankle Injury

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIMay 23, 2021

Chicago Sky forward Candace Parker (3) in action during a WNBA basketball game, Saturday, May 15, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Daniel Kucin Jr.)
AP Photo/Daniel Kucin Jr.

Chicago Sky star Candace Parker won't play in the team's home opener against the New York Liberty on Sunday because of an ankle sprain, the team announced.

Parker was injured in practice Wednesday, when she landed awkwardly on the ankle. Per Annie Costabile of the Chicago Sun-Times, she had been "taking things light" leading up to Sunday's decision.

Parker later gave an update on her status on Instagram, including a photo of the injury:


Candace Parker gives an update on her ankle injury 😳😐😢 pic.twitter.com/F3IRzMWuPg

Head coach James Wade told reporters Friday he wasn't planning to rush Parker back for Sunday's game.

"We have a full season ahead of us," Wade said. "This is game three of the season. This is the home opener, but she’s here. She’s going to appear in many home games." 

Parker didn't play Wednesday after she suffered the injury, but she had 16 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the season opener against the Washington Mystics on May 15. 

The reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Parker joined her hometown Sky as a free agent in the offseason after 13 years with the Los Angeles Sparks. The 34-year-old signed a two-year, $385,000 contract, per Her Hoop Stats (h/t Jamal Collier of the Chicago Tribune).

She wrapped up the 2020 season with 14.7 points and a WNBA-leading 9.7 rebounds per game, finishing third in MVP voting—an award she won in 2008 and 2013. The Tennessee product has averaged 16.9 points and 8.6 rebounds in 338 career games. 

Ruthy Hebard, who had a double-double while filling in for Parker against Atlanta (18 points, 10 rebounds), will start for the 2-0 Sky on Sunday in her place.