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Rui Machida is ready to take on the WNBA, while Elena Delle Donne and Alysha Clark get closer to returning on the court

The Washington Mystics guard was introduced to the media on Monday and practiced yesterday.

Rui Machia Introductory Press Conference
Washington Mystics guard Rui Machida is being asked to just be herself.
Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

On Monday evening, the Washington Mystics introduced point guard Rui Machida to the media. In her availability, Machida said that one of the things attracting her to the team was that both Washington and Fujitsu RedWave, her team in Japan, both play a similar style of basketball offensively and defensively.

But most importantly, Machida stressed that she was encouraged to stay true to herself. General Manager and Head Coach Mike Thibault also stressed that he wanted “Rui to just be Rui.”

Machida’s English is limited, so she had a translator for her throughout the availability. To Thibault, he doesn’t expect language barriers to be a problem, given that talent can transcend that, and Washington will adjust with more hand signals.

The Mystics guard was also asked about whether she spoke to Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura, given that he is also Japanese. She said that she did not speak to him regarding her signing specifically.

If everything plays out to plan, Machida will play later today when the Mystics host the Minnesota Lynx. She did participate in practice yesterday and was able to make some her trademark passes.

Yesterday’s practice was also significant for two of Washington’s key veterans, Elena Delle Donne and Alysha Clark.

Delle Donne practiced in a 5-on-5 environment yesterday and Thibault was optimistic that she would play today.

On Wednesday morning, the team announced that she would start and make her preseason debut.

In addition, Clark tweeted yesterday evening that her right foot is responding as normal after having Lisfranc surgery last year.

If we don’t see Clark in action today, she should be back by the time the regular season begins.