Lynx center Sylvia Fowles reinjures right calf, leaves game against Aces

Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles reinjured her right calf early in Thursday night's 87-77 loss to the Las Vegas Aces in Bradenton, Florida, and did not return.

Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve had no update on Fowles' condition after the game.

"It's the type of blow you'd think it would be -- you're losing one of the best players in the league and an MVP candidate," Reeve said of the impact of not having Fowles. "We did play a couple of games without Syl, so we're sort of familiar with what needs to happen and what our rotations will be."

Fowles, 34, missed games on Aug. 5 and Aug. 9 because of the calf issue, but played on Aug. 7 and Aug. 11.

Just over a minute into Thursday's game, though, she pulled up limping in obvious pain.

The 2017 WNBA MVP entered the game averaging 16.7 points and 11.3 rebounds. She became the WNBA's all-time leading rebounder on July 28.

Fowles came to Minnesota in a trade from Chicago midway through the 2015 season and had not missed a game with the Lynx until this year. With Fowles out Thursday, last season's rookie of the year, forward Napheesa Collier, did her best to pick up the slack. She finished with 21 points and a career-high 14 rebounds.

The Lynx lost one of their captains, Karima Christmas-Kelly, to a season-ending Achilles tendon injury on July 28. The other captains are Fowles and Collier.

"It hurt losing her," Collier said of Fowles' injury Thursday, "but it's on us. Things happen and we have to play without her and make the best of it. I think we kind of got on our heels for a little bit and it obviously hurt us in the first half."

It was especially tough for the Lynx to guard the Aces inside, and Las Vegas forward A'ja Wilson, another MVP candidate, took advantage. She finished with 23 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots.

The Lynx did get a lift in guard Odyssey Sims' return to the court. Sims, the team's leader in scoring and assists last season, made her 2020 debut Thursday after being delayed arriving to the bubble after giving birth in April. Sims played nearly 15 minutes and had one point and one assist.