Sun's Alyssa Thomas, Ogwumike dealing with injuries
The Connecticut Sun benefitted early in the season playing against teams that were missing players due to either injury or overseas commitments.
Given Connecticut’s long and dispiriting history of injuries, perhaps it was on borrowed time.
Starting forwards Alyssa Thomas (shoulder) and Chiney Ogwumike (knee) were injured in successive games last week as Connecticut (7-4) lost three straight games and fell out of first place in the overall WNBA standings.
Thomas' right shoulder popped out while guarding Elena Delle Donne late in the third quarter of last Wednesday's 95-91 loss to the Washington Mystics. She didn't return and has missed the last two games while wearing a sling. She has injured both shoulders during her pro career.
"Her timetable to return is day-to-day," Sun head coach Curt Miller said Monday. "The biggest thing for her is to have some increased range of motion and decreased pain before she returns to play."
Thomas has been Connecticut's most valuable player thus far. She's averaged 12 points and was third in the WNBA in rebounding (9.9 rpg) and 10th in assists (4.2 apg).
Ogwumike was injured late in last Friday’s 103-92 loss to the Storm in Seattle. Miller wasn’t sure when she hurt the knee, but she got tangled up with Seattle’s Breanna Stewart with over five minutes left, fell, and was slow to get up. Oddly enough, she scored a career-high 30 before fouling out with over two minutes remaining.
Ogwumike didn't play in Saturday's 89-72 loss at the Phoenix Mercury, and Connecticut was awaiting word on tests she was scheduled to have Monday. She’s the Sun’s leading scorer (15.3 ppg) and is the league’s sixth-leading rebounder (7.8).
“It was for precautionary reasons that we held her out (of the Phoenix game),” Miller said. “She logged a lot of minutes between Washington and Seattle, and then taking that knee-to-knee at the end of (the Seattle game), she had a little inflammation.”
Ogwumike has missed two full seasons to injury since winning 2014 Rookie of the Year honors. She had to sit out 2015 after micro-fracture surgery on her right knee, and she missed last year after needing Achilles tendon surgery.
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The Connecticut Sun have been the stronger second-half team in both games of their WNBA semifinal series against the Los Angeles Sparks and taken a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series. Game 3 is Sunday at the Walter Pyramid at Long Beach State.