The Connecticut Sun signed Chiney Ogwumike to a multiyear extension Saturday while she is recovering from Achilles tendon surgery.
The WNBA does not have an injured reserve list, leaving a team with limited options in dealing with players who will miss the year because of injuries. The Sun, in strictly a procedural move, suspended Ogwumike to free a roster spot. The team opens training camp Sunday and can have only 15 active players.
''My teammates and I have been through the fire as young players, we're still going through it,'' Ogwumike said. ''I'm not going to abandon ship. If anyone watched the end of last season, you know what special chemistry is growing on the court. I'm fully committed to see it come to fruition.''
She injured her left Achilles while playing in China last winter and had surgery Nov. 30. While she is sitting out the year she will work for ESPN at its Connecticut headquarters.
''She believes in our vision and will continue to be an important piece of our bright future,'' Connecticut general manager and coach Curt Miller said. ''We will certainly miss her during the 2017 season but know she will be working hard to return stronger than ever.''
The Stanford graduate averaged 12.6 points and 6.7 rebounds last season and finished 2016 with 17 straight double-figure scoring games. She had a career-high 26 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocks against Dallas on June 20.
Ogwumike missed the 2015 season while recovering from microfracture surgery in her right knee and earned the inaugural AP Comeback Player of the Year last year. In 2015, the Sun kept her on the active roster.
''I was on the active on roster before and sometimes you have to sacrifice for your team to be successful,'' Ogwumike said. ''During this time that I navigate my rehab I want to make sure my team can be as successful as they can be on the court. I want a young player or a draftee to gain some experience so that when I do return, my team can be as good as it possibly can be.''