WNBA superstar Breanna Stewart revealed that she spent more than $30,000 of her own money to rehab her devastating Achilles tear, and now she looks better than ever before

insider@insider.com (Meredith Cash)
·3 min read
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2018 WNBA MVP and champion Breanna Stewart missed the entire 2019 season after tearing her Achilles while playing overseas during the WNBA offseason.
  • Seattle Storm superstar Breanna Stewart spent more than $30,000 of her money to rehab her devastating Achilles tendon tear.

  • The 2018 WNBA MVP and champion missed the entire 2019 season after injuring herself while playing for Dynamo Kursk during the offseason.

  • While her Russian club paid for the surgery itself, Stewart took on the cost of "pilates, yoga, individually-tailored workouts, nutrigenetic diet planning, equipment" and more, per ESPN's Holly Rowe.

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One of the WNBA's biggest stars made quite an investment to return to the hardwood after suffering a devastating injury overseas.

After earning league MVP honors and leading the Seattle Storm to a championship during the 2018 WNBA season, Breanna Stewart tore her Achilles tendon while playing for her Russian club, Dynamo Kursk, the following spring. The timing and severity of the injury meant that the two-time All-Star would miss the entire 2019 WNBA season while recovering from surgery.

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Breanna Stewart dribbles up court while playing a game for USA Basketball.

While she acknowledged that Dynamo Kursk paid for her surgery, Stewart said the rehab costs fell on her shoulders.

"Getting hurt overseas in Russia, the club paid for my surgery and stuff like that, but the rehab was mine," Stewart said. "And where I chose to rehab, and I was in LA in an Airbnb and all that — it adds up."

"But at the same time, I wouldn't do it any differently," she added.

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Breanna Stewart (right) embraces Seattle Storm teammate Sue Bird.

In a special segment aired on ABC during halftime of the Storm's game against the Connecticut Sun on Sunday, ESPN's Holly Rowe delved into Stewart's rehab process. Between "pilates, yoga, individually-tailored workouts, nutrigenetic diet planning, equipment" and more, Rowe reported that the 25-year-old star shelled out more than $30,000 of her own money to get her recovery right.

Though costly, Stewart's investment appears to have paid off. The 6-foot-4 forward has dominated the WNBA since returning to the league to start the 2020 season, and it may be enough to lead her to another league MVP finish.

Her 18.9 points per game is fourth-most among players in the "Wubble" at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Stewart also ranks fourth in blocks, eighth in steals, 12th in rebounds, 13th in both free-throw and field-goal percentage, and 16th in assists across the entire WNBA while leading Seattle to a league-leading 10-1 record — tied for the team's best start in franchise history.

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"In my first game back I felt great," Stewart said. "That's the thing. I feel great. My body feels great. I have this new Achilles and now it's just time for me to go out and play and have fun."

"What I'm the most proud of is just the fact that I think I'm better now than I was before," she added.

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