While the Phoenix Mercury await the season debut of their superstar, it's uncertain if the Washington Mystics will have theirs available any time soon.
The Mystics could be minus Elena Delle Donne on Wednesday when they host the Mercury.
Delle Donne, Washington's leading scorer (15.2 points per game) and rebounder (7.7 per game), is considered day-to-day after breaking her nose early in Sunday's 98-81 loss at Los Angeles. Without Delle Donne, the Mystics (9-4) saw their five-game winning streak end - though their previous game Friday at Las Vegas was suspended due to a nearby Earthquake in California.
Aerial Powers had a career-high 24 points and Kristi Tolliver added 17 with nine rebounds for Washington, which was outrebounded 39-31 by the Sparks without Delle Donne.
Regardless who is on the court for the Mystics, the focus shifts to Phoenix (6-6). While still awaiting the 2019 debut of star Diana Taurasi as she returns from a back issue, the Mercury have won four of their last five thanks to the play of Brittney Griner.
"(It has) been an opportunity to show our true character," Mercury coach Sandy Brondello told the WNBA's official website of her club getting by minus Taurasi, who has been cleared for full participation for some time now.
The WNBA's player of the week, Griner (19.6 ppg, 7.5 rpg) scored 30 points in Friday's loss to New York and followed with an even better 31-point, 12-rebound effort in Sunday's 65-63 win over Atlanta. Griner also posted three blocks in the latter to hit the 600 mark for career.
Griner has the potential to be in for another big game if Delle Donne is not on the floor for Washington in what would be the first matchup this season between arguably the WNBA's two best post players.
After this matchup, the Mercury and Mystics will meet two more times before Aug. 5.