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.
Many of you know about my ongoing battle with Lyme Disease, and a compromised immune system. For now I'm following protocol and waiting for a risk assessment from the league medical panel. Missing my teammates but health and safety are the priority https://t.co/3oChtiaqXJ— Elena Delle Donne (@De11eDonne) July 8, 2020
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.