Elena Delle Donne to have MRI after suffering back spasms

IAN QUILLEN (Associated Press)
The Associated Press
Washington Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne, right, drives against Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas in the first half of Game 1 of basketball's WNBA Finals, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Washington Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne, right, drives against Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas in the first half of Game 1 of basketball's WNBA Finals, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Elena Delle Donne left Game 2 of the WNBA Finals after playing only a few minutes in the first quarter because of back spasms. She never returned.

Without the league's MVP, Washington lost to Connecticut 95-86 on Tuesday night, evening the best-of-five series at 1-1.

Mystics coach Mike Thibault said that his star would get an MRI on her back Wednesday.

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''It didn't look good. We'll see what the MRI says,'' he said. ''Only good thing, I didn't look forward to having four days between games until right now. We'll see what happens. We won't have anything for a couple days until we see what the tests show.''

Delle Donne was subbed out for Emma Meesseman with 6:32 remaining in the first quarter and went back to the locker room to be evaluated. She had 22 points to lead the Mystics to a 95-86 victory over the Connecticut Sun in Game 1, Washington's first-ever victory in a finals game.

The 6-foot-5 forward has dealt with illnesses and injuries throughout her career as she's battled Lyme disease while in college at Delaware and it has flared up during her pro career a few times. While she was playing with Chicago, Delle Donne dealt with back issues that limited her in the Finals in 2014.

Last season she helped the Mystics reach the championship round despite suffering a bone bruise in her knee in Game 2 of the semifinal series against the Atlanta Dream. She missed the third game, but returned for the final two contests of that series to help Washington make the WNBA Finals for the first time.

Seattle swept that series last year.

This season she missed a few games during the regular season because of knee issues and a broken nose.

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