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Elena Delle Donne Knee Injury Diagnosed as Bone Bruise; Questionable for Game 3

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 29, 2018

Washington Mystics guard Elena Delle Donne warms up before a single elimination WNBA basketball playoff game against the Los Angeles Sparks, Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

Washington Mystics star Elena Delle Donne is officially questionable for Game 3 of the WNBA semifinals against the Atlanta Dream on Friday, the team announced Wednesday. 

According to the Mystics, Delle Donne suffered a bone bruise to her left knee in Tuesday's 78-75 defeat:

Washington Mystics @WashMystics

OFFICIAL: Elena Delle Donne Injury Update. 📰: https://t.co/boZG7XOJ4v #TogetherDC https://t.co/mvTmOazxqZ

Delle Donne was driving to the basket with a little over three minutes left in regulation Tuesday when her left knee buckled. She was helped back to the locker room after remaining down on the court for an extended period of time.

While the injury initially looked serious, Delle Donne had fans feeling a little more optimistic with her comments after the game.

"I mean, I'm walking," she said, per ESPNW's Mechelle Voepel. "The swelling isn't terrible. I'll go home [Wednesday] and see our doctors, and see what they say. But I'm hopeful to be back in the lineup Friday."

Delle Donne finished third in the 2018 WNBA MVP voting behind Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart and Dallas Wings center Liz Cambage. She averaged 20.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists and was fourth in the league in win shares (5.9), per Basketball Reference.

The Dream are themselves playing short-handed, with Angel McCoughtry out for the year with a knee injury. But Atlanta has weathered the storm without McCoughtry, and the timing of her injury allowed head coach Nicki Collen time to adjust before the postseason got underway.

Losing Delle Donne in the middle of the semifinals could be the kind of blow from which Washington can't recover. 

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