Report: Liberty's Sabrina Ionescu out 'Approximately' 1 Month with Ankle Injury

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 1, 2020

New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu (20) brings the ball up the court during the second half of a WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm, Saturday, July 25, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

New York Liberty superstar rookie Sabrina Ionescu is expected to miss approximately one month after suffering a Grade 3 left ankle sprain, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

Charania reported Friday that X-rays on Ionescu's ankle came back negative after she left the Liberty's 84-78 loss to the Atlanta Dream.

Ionescu, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 WNBA draft, registered 10 points in just 12 minutes of play before exiting the game in the second quarter.

In three games this season, Ionescu is averaging 18.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists. That included 33 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in New York's 93-80 loss to the Dallas Wings.

While Ionescu's arrival ratcheted up the level of excitement surrounding the Liberty to an all-time high, the young team is off to an 0-3 start.

All WNBA teams are playing a truncated 2020 season with 22 regular-season games each. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, all games are being played at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, with no fans in attendance.

After Ionescu rolled her ankle and left Friday's game, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James tweeted his hopes for a speedy recovery:

LeBron James @KingJames

Ouch!! @sabrina_i20 Get healthy as soon as possible! 🙏🏾. Health is wealth

Ionescu's absence is not only bad for the WNBA since she is already such a popular player, but it could also dash the Liberty's hopes of reaching the playoffs since the one-month timeline suggests she may not return until New York's sixth-to-last game of the season against the Connecticut Sun on Sept. 1.

It is also possible that the Liberty could opt to hold Ionescu out for the remainder of the season in an effort to exercise an abundance of caution, especially if they aren't in the playoff race when she is healthy enough to return.

The Liberty are already well off the pace as one of only two 0-3 teams in the WNBA this season, and making up ground without Ionescu for a month may not be possible.