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Independent panel reportedly denies Elena Delle Donne’s request for medical exemption

What’s the next move for the reigning WNBA MVP? Will she play or sit out the 2020 WNBA season?

WNBA: Finals-Washington Mystics at Connecticut Sun David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

As frustrating as this year has been for many, it doesn’t help that the news of Washington Mystics reigning MVP, Elena Delle Donne, request to opt out of the 2020 WNBA season was denied. The news was reported to ESPN on Monday evening.

Ultimately, the main reason why an independent panel of doctors dentist Delle Donne’s request was because Lyme Disease, a condition she has, is not listed as one that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers as “higher risk” of coronavirus complications.

Delle Donne is still considering opting out, but she will have to forego her pay to do so. Alternatively, she could also report to training camp.

It was a long wait of uncertainty as many players began declaring they wouldn’t be playing this season, including LaToya Sanders and Natasha Cloud of the Mystics. Once time dwindled down and no word was said, it was assumed Delle Donne may not play because of Lyme disease.

Eventually it was announced that not only Delle Donne but Tina Charles would enter medical evaluation protocol as well. Delle Donne via Twitter went on to explain to everyone why she entered the protocol in the first place.

With Delle Donne and Charles most likely not playing, that would put Washington’s roster at 10 players. It’s not ideal, but could work. It just means that the Mystics will have a tougher time defending their title and forced to play “small ball” for an entire revised season.

The season is set to begin on July 25 with Washington facing the Indiana Fever as their first opponent.