WNBA MVP candidate Napheesa Collier leaves Lynx’s loss to Sun with foot injury

Minnesota Lynx star Napheesa Collier, a leading MVP candidate this season, left the team’s 78-73 loss to the Connecticut Sun on Thursday with a foot injury. Further information regarding Collier’s status moving forward is not yet known.

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Late in the third quarter, Collier was on the left wing watching the play unfold, then started to cut to the basket. As she did so, something happened to her foot, and she began limping. Immediately, she signaled to the bench for a substitution and checked out at the next dead ball. After initially sitting down on the bench, she went to the locker room — under her own power, but with a pronounced limp — and did not return.

Collier was enjoying another strong all-around game with nine points, six rebounds, two steals and two blocks at the time of her departure. At that point, the Lynx were trailing 55-53; they were outscored 19-11 over the next 10 minutes of action and went six minutes without a basket in the fourth quarter.

Entering Thursday’s showdown with the Sun, Collier was averaging 20.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.2 steals and 1.4 blocks per game. All of those marks are career-highs save for scoring, and she was fourth in the league in scoring, third in rebounding and third in steals. Furthermore, she was on pace to join Chamique Holdsclaw as the only other player in WNBA history to average at least 20 points, 10 rebounds and three assists for a season.

Thanks in large part to Collier’s brilliance, the Lynx got off to a 13-3 start this season and won the Commissioner’s Cup championship for the first time in franchise history. After this defeat, though, they are just 1-3 in their last four games. If Collier misses any sort of significant time, it would only further their recent woes.

If there’s any silver lining for the Lynx, it’s that they only have five more games before the Olympic break, which runs from July 18-Aug. 15. Depending on the severity of the injury, that could give Collier extended time to heal without missing many WNBA games. She is set to represent Team USA in Paris later this month, however, and will likely do everything in her power to suit up.

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