Reigning WNBA MVP Breanna Stewart suffered a torn Achilles playing overseas for Russian club Dynamo Kursk, EuroLeague Women announced Tuesday. She’s expected to miss the entire 2019 WNBA season after undergoing surgery.
Stewart suffered the injury during a EuroLeague Final Four game against UMMC Ekaterinburg when she fell on WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner’s ankle after firing a shot late in the second quarter. The 6-foot-4 forward appeared to be in significant pain as she laid on the ground after going down.
breanna stewart landed on brittney griners foot during the euroleague title game and looked in serious pain— dynamo kursk fan account (@WEREONLIVE) April 14, 2019
not clear if it was ankle or knee but she was helped off the floor and put no weight on it pic.twitter.com/AO8ecTLtgJ
Stewart, 24, was set to enter her fourth NBA season with the Storm after winning her first WNBA MVP trophy last year. She averaged a league-high 21.8 points per game in the regular season, then took her game to another level in the playoffs by averaging 24.6 points per game to lead the Storm to the title. She was also awarded WNBA Finals MVP for her efforts, bookending one of the most impressive seasons in the league’s history.
Now it’s unlikely Stewart will be able to continue that success until the 2020 season at the earliest. It’s a major loss to one of the WNBA’s best teams, which will have to turn to Jewell Lloyd, Natasha Howard and longtime veteran Sue Bird to survive Stewart’s absence.