Elena Delle Donne denied in request to opt out of WNBA season

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ESPN reported that the WNBA medical panel uses CDC’s guidelines for evaluating high-risk cases.

“The independent panel of doctors the league appointed to review high-risk cases have advised that I’m not high risk, and should be permitted to play in the (WNBA bubble in Bradenton, Florida),” Delle Donne said in the statement.

Delle Donne and her agent told ESPN that the panel’s ruling goes against the advice from her own personal physician.

“When I talked to Elena , her initial reaction was disbelief,” Delle Donne ’s agent, Erin Kane, told ESPN.

Because of her Lyme disease, Delle Donne ’s personal doctor considers her at higher risk for serious illness than other players if she were to have contracted the coronavirus while in the WNBA bubble.

“I love my team, and we had an unbelievable season last year, and I want to play! But the question is whether or not the WNBA bubble is safe for me. My personal physician who has treated me for Lyme disease for years advised me that I’m at high risk for contracting and having complications from COVID-19,” Delle Donne said in her statement to ESPN.

Neither Delle Donne or teammate Tina Charles made the trip to Bradenton with the Mystics. Charles is still waiting to hear about her opt-out request.

Players can still opt out and skip the season if the panel does not grant them a medical waiver. However, they will not get paid if they opt out.

The Mystics would be down to just 10 players if both Delle Donne and Charles miss the season because Washington is unable to sign replacements due to being over the salary cap.

Washington is already without Natasha Cloud and LaToya Sanders, who decided to opt out of the 22-game season. The Mystics start their season July 25 against the Indiana Fever.

Delle Donne told ESPN she will reveal her plans for the season soon.

“As with all of our players, we have and will support Elena throughout this process,” Mystics coach Mike Thibault told ESPN in a statement. “The health and well-being of our players is of the utmost importance.”

• This article is based in part on wire service reports. Sign up for Daily Newsletters

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