Liberty's Sabrina Ionescu Won't Need Surgery on Ankle Injury

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 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

The New York Liberty announced Saturday that superstar rookie Sabrina Ionescu will not require surgery on the ankle injury she suffered in New York's third game of the 2020 season July 31.

The Liberty noted that Ionescu received a positive prognosis for a full recovery from physicians and will continue to rehab.

ESPN's Holly Rowe tweeted that physicians determined Ionescu suffered a Grade 3 ankle sprain. Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported at the time that Ionescu was expected to miss approximately one month.

New York selected Ionescu with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 WNBA draft after her dominant collegiate career at Oregon. Ionescu averaged 18.0 points, 7.7 assists and 7.3 rebounds per game in four seasons at Oregon and was named the Citizen Naismith Player of the Year in 2020.

There was a great deal of excitement surrounding the Liberty after they selected Ionescu. In her first three games, Ionescu showed why she deserved to be the top pick as she averaged 18.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists. That included 33 points, seven boards and seven assists against the Dallas Wings in her second game.

The 2020 WNBA season is occurring inside a bubble at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ionescu was one of many reason there was plenty of hype surrounding the unique WNBA season when it started, but her injury has left the league without one of its biggest stars.

The young Liberty team are also a WNBA-worst 1-9 this season, meaning they could in line for the No. 1 overall pick again next year.

If Charania's timeline ends up being correct, Ionescu could still return this season to play a handful of games, but it won't be surprising if the Liberty take a cautious approach since she is by far the biggest key to their future success.