Liberty's Sabrina Ionescu to See Specialist After Suffering Ankle Injury

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 5, 2020

New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu runs up the court after making a basket during the first 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

The New York Liberty announced star rookie Sabrina Ionescu will visit an ankle and foot specialist after suffering what was believed to be a Grade 3 left ankle sprain in New York's 84-78 loss to the Atlanta Dream last Friday.

Ionescu has lived up to the hype through her first three appearances, averaging 18.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists.

Ionescu's drawing power was evident right out of the gate when the WNBA rolled out its updated national television schedule. Coming off a 10-win season, the Liberty were given 18 national TV games, including the first of the new season.

New York's 87-71 defeat to the Seattle Storm drew an average of 419,000 viewers, the highest-rated WNBA opener on ESPN since 2016.

Ionescu was a bit shaky in her debut, shooting 4-of-17 from the field. She returned in her next game to drop 33 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in a 93-80 loss to the Dallas Wings.

Ionescu's contributions on the court have done little to turn the Liberty's fortunes around. That's less an indictment of the 2020 Naismith Player of the Year and more an acknowledgment of how little a rookie can single-handedly improve her team in the WNBA.

Talent is concentrated far more in the WNBA compared to the NBA because it only has 12 teams with 12 available roster spots. The fact the season is only traditionally 34 games—shortened to 22 for 2020—with eight playoff spots up for grabs also adds a little more importance to each regular-season contest.

New York basically tore its roster down to the studs. Ionescu is one of seven first-year players on the 12-woman squad. 

With the former Oregon star healthy, the postseason would be a long shot. Take her out of the mix and those chances dwindle even further.