Las Vegas center Liz Cambage returned to WNBA game action for the first time since Aug. 28 in Sunday's regular-season finale, after dealing with COVID-19. She played 9½ minutes and had four points and four rebounds as the Aces won 84-83 at Phoenix.
"After lying in bed for 2½ weeks, I've lost my cardio a bit," Cambage said on a postgame video call. "I'm just very thankful the COVID didn't get in my lungs, and I think I've got the vaccine to thank for that. I'm grateful to be back with the girls; it was tough."
Because the Aces are the No. 2 seed in the upcoming WNBA playoffs, they have a double bye into the best-of-five semifinals that start Sept. 28. That gives Cambage a chance to work on conditioning.
"The girls really held it down and locked into that second spot, and that's really going to help me get back into it," Cambage said of the Aces, who secured their seed Friday and finished 24-8 with Sunday's win. "They need a break and I need to turn it up. They'll get their rest and I'll try to catch up with them. I lost 15 pounds with this, so I'm going to be moving light on the court."
Cambage, 30, said she started to feel body aches after the Aces returned home from a three-game road trip in late August. She entered COVID-19 protocol and isolated with headaches and continual body aches.
"I'm so lucky my mama is in town all the way from Australia," Cambage said. "I'm so thankful she was here to look after me and get me back on my feet, and that she didn't get [COVID-19]. She's the real MVP at the moment."
Cambage believes this is her second bout with COVID-19; in the first, her respiratory system was impacted. In March 2020, she wrote on Instagram that she thinks she contracted COVID-19 in December 2019 while playing in China. She was told then that it was a "viral infection," and it resulted in a brief hospitalization. Cambage said it took more than a month for her lungs to be free of phlegm.
She did not play in the WNBA's bubble in Bradenton, Florida, last season as she received a medical exemption.