The Washington Mystics gained one star. But lost another.
Not even a week into Elena Delle Donne’s return, the Mystics announced Thursday that star center Tina Charles would miss the next three to five games with a left gluteal strain. Charles suffered the injury in Sunday’s loss to the Seattle Storm.
Charles was leading the WNBA in scoring this year with a career-high 25.4 points per game. Her absence is a blow to the Mystics, who have struggled to be consistent in 2021 as they look to get back into title contention. The Mystics are 9-14 this season, five games under .500.
Delle Donne made her season debut Sunday, having missed time with a back injury. It was her first in-game action since 2019, the year the Mystics won the WNBA title. Delle Donne also opted out of last year’s WNBA season due to COVID-19 concerns. Delle Donne’s back problems extended to 2019, when she won the title playing through two herniated discs — an injury that required multiple surgeries.
The Mystics also announced Tuesday that forward Emma Meeseman would not join the team as originally planned. Meesseman, the 2019 Finals MVP, was supposed to join the Mystics after the European Championship and the Olympics, but instead announced she would take time off to be with her family.
“I wish it was different because everybody knows I love the Mystics family. D.C. will continue to be my home away from home!” Meesseman said in a statement. “I wish the team all the best and I’ll be rooting for them, like I always have.”