The Mystics announced they will pay Elena Delle Donne’s salary even if she sits out the entire 2020 season, according to coach and general manager Mike Thibault. The WNBA previously rejected the reigning MVP’s request for a medical exemption. Delle Donne, who suffers from Chronic Lyme Disease, disputes the WNBA’s ruling, arguing that her personal physician believe she is at elevated risk for COVID-19 complications.
Thibault told ESPN:
“The fact of the matter is the Mystics organization will never put Elena’s — or any other of our players’ — health and well-being in jeopardy at any time. As in the past, with her Lyme disease history and her on-court injuries, all decisions about her ability to play will be made jointly with Elena. She is part of our roster. She is being paid and is continuing to rehab from her offseason back surgery.
Delle Donne’s agent Erin Kane, however, indicates that some trepidation remains:
“She really appreciates their support and that they’re trying to find a happy medium, a way to kind of resolve this situation,” Kane said. “We’re trying to figure out with the team what the parameters are because Elena doesn’t want to go to the facility full-stop or work out somewhere else indoors where there’s someone else around because she feels like that’s risky. None of that has been finalized. Elena is trying to mentally sort through this, and all of it is happening in pretty short order.”