Due to health reasons that put her at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, Las Vegas Aces star Liz Cambage is expected to sit out of the WNBA’s upcoming modified season, her agent told The Associated Press on Saturday night.
Her agent, Allison Galer, did not share what pre-existing conditions Cambage was citing due to privacy reasons.
“In the evaluation of Liz Cambage’s health and pre-exisitng risk factors with her team doctor, we believe her to be at high risk for severe illness if she contracts COVID-19 in participating this WNBA season,” Galer said, via The Associated Press. “We are awaiting the league’s determination based on an independent physician panel.”
The WNBA season is set to kick off later this month from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida — roughly 100 miles from where the NBA will resume its season at Walt Disney World near Orlando.
WNBA players are allowed to opt-out of the season without penalty, and many have done so already. If the league’s independent panel of doctors can determine that a player is opting-out of the season due to medical reasons, she will still receive her full salary. Cambage, per the Associated Press, is one of a “handful” of players the independent panel will review.
There were more than 2.8 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States as of Saturday night, according to The New York Times, and nearly 130,000 deaths attributed to it. There were more than 50,000 new cases in the country on both Thursday and Friday, too, including more than 55,500 on Thursday alone — a new single-day record.
Cases have been surging in several states, too, including in Florida. The state had more than 190,000 confirmed cases as of Saturday night — more than 10,100 of which came on Thursday alone, a single-day record for the state.
Cambage averaged 15.9 points and 8.2 rebounds for the Aces last season, her first with the team. The Australian native was first drafted by the Tulsa Shock in 2011, though left the league for five years after the 2013 season to play both in Australia and China instead. She returned to the WNBA in 2018, signing a new deal with the organization — which had since moved to Dallas and became the Wings. The 28-year-old was traded to Las Vegas last offseason.
She is one of two Aces players who will miss the season, joining guard Kelsey Plum, who suffered an Achilles injury last month, per the report.
“Liz is a generational talent and we are going to miss her this season on the court and in the locker room,” Aces general manager Dan Padover said, via The Associated Press. “She has been incredibly active this offseason in the community raising money to support first responders who battled the brush fires in Australia, continuing to shine a light on mental health awareness and standing at the forefront of the peaceful protests in her country battling social and racial inequality, and I have no doubt that she will continue to do so this summer.”
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