Isabelle Harrison out with undisclosed injury as Sky prepare to open season Friday

Sky coach/general manager James Wade did not comment on whether Harrison will be undergoing surgery as her mother tweeted.

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Isabelle Harrison, right, will miss the Sky’s opening games against the Lynx on Friday and Mercury on Sunday.

Isabelle Harrison, right, will miss the Sky’s opening games against the Lynx on Friday and Mercury on Sunday.

Sky coach/general manager James Wade’s frontcourt took another hit Wednesday with the news that Isabelle Harrison will miss the team’s opening weekend slate of games against the Lynx on Friday and Mercury on Sunday.

The update came from the team after a social-media post from Harrison’s mother that since has been deleted stating the Sky’s new forward is awaiting surgery Friday for a meniscus repair.

“I’m not reporting on Izzy’s mom,” Wade said. “We have certain steps we take here.”

A now-deleted tweet from Isabelle Harrison’s mother said the Sky forward will have surgery on Friday.

A now-deleted tweet from Isabelle Harrison’s mother said the Sky forward will have surgery on Friday.

While Wade did not comment on whether Harrison is slated to have surgery, he did acknowledge that she is out with an injury. Wade previously stated that her absence going back to media day last week was not injury-related.

In response to a question Tuesday asking if Harrison’s absence still was not considered an injury issue, Wade said, “We want it to remain in-house until we have all of the information.”

On Wednesday, Wade clarified that the update he provided a week ago was because of his lack of information on her status at the time. He also explained that his response to questions Tuesday following up on her status was meant to communicate that Harrison’s availability will remain within the organization until she is ready to make a statement.

“Izzy’s out,” Wade said. “We want to respect that. She hasn’t made a statement, so we haven’t made a statement. We’re not going to make a statement until we’re ready to make one. That’s it.”

Per league policy, the team will be required to make injury reports available during the season the day before games at 5 p.m. local time. On the second day of back-to-back games, the team is required to report by 1 p.m. local time. But this report is only required to include players’ participation status. Detail as far as specific injuries players are dealing with do not have to be included.

Wade was adamant that the team will not be providing a timeline for Harrison’s return.

“I don’t have anything,” Wade said. “That means don’t ask about it, all right? We want to respect our timeline, so that’s why we are not commenting on Izzy, the same way we are not commenting on Li [Yueru].”

Through training camp, the Sky’s frontcourt has battled injuries.

Li has not participated in any basketball activities with the team after arriving to camp with a lower-extremity injury. During the Sky’s preseason game against the Fever, Elizabeth Williams was sent to the floor attempting to block a shot and subsequently entered concussion protocols.

On Wednesday, she was back participating with the team and fully cleared to play this weekend. Another player who made her debut on the Sky’s practice floor Wednesday was guard Marina Mabrey. At the conclusion of practice, she said it was good to get on the floor with her new teammates. She laughed when adding she felt a bit winded after her first full practice.

Harrison’s absence, along with that of Li and Ruthy Hebard, who still is working her way back after giving birth April 11, leaves the Sky with seven available players. How Wade fields his full 11- to 12-player roster remains to be seen, but he has options.

He has four training-camp players remaining on his roster after waiving guards Feyonda Fitzgerald and Kayana Trayor on Wednesday. The league’s waiver wire also will be a viable option for filling out the roster. Wade said Tuesday that players’ current status will not affect his final roster. That could indicate he will look to utilize the league’s hardship exception instead of, say, suspending a player’s contract in favor of freeing up the cap space to sign someone else for the entire season.

Whether or not Wade acknowledges the impact, the absence of Harrison and Hebard will be felt as his team opens the season with a mostly new roster.

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