Washington Mystics star Elena Delle Donne's status for season in doubt

Washington Mystics star Elena Delle Donne's status for the remainder of the 2021 WNBA season is in jeopardy, according to the team's head coach.

With more than a week left in the regular season, Mike Thibault told reporters on Thursday that Delle Donne isn't even practicing with the team.

Delle Donne was pulled from Aug. 26's game against the Dallas Wings after playing 12 minutes. She said something didn't feel right while fighting for a rebound and she sat for the remainder of the game for "precautionary reasons." It was her third game since returning from a pair of back surgeries.

There had been hope that after a two-game cross-country road trip Delle Donne could be back for the team's remaining few games.

"She's probably not going to play at all this weekend and I'm not sure about the rest of the year yet, I don't know yet," Thibault said. "Not great improvement."

At 10-18, the Mystics are a half-game back from the New York Liberty in eighth place. The top eight teams go to the playoffs. Washington has four games left to play, including Friday night against the Atlanta Dream.

Delle Donne is officially listed as out against the Dream.

"A little bit of setback and part of it is the referred pains that she had earlier when, not just the back, but it affects the nerves in your leg and all that kind of stuff and so that's been part of the problem," Thibault said. "We've got a little bit of that to deal with right now."

Delle Donne returned to the court on Aug. 22 for the first time since October 2019. In that game against the Seattle Storm, the 2019 WNBA MVP finished with 16 points on 5-for-11 shooting with three rebounds in 22 minutes and told reporters after that she was feeling good.