Elena Delle Donne Cleared To Play After Concussion

Elena Delle Donne Cleared To Play After Concussion
2013 Rookie of the Year Elena Delle Donne was also named to the WNBA All-Star Second Team
Just before noon on Tuesday, the word came through from Elena Delle Donne herself. via Twitter:
Elena Delle Donne ‏@De11eDonne55m Back on the court tonight with my team! 7:00 vs. the Fever #skyhigh
Late yesterday,  she hinted at the news:
Elena Delle Donne ‏@De11eDonne19h Great day with great news! Now headed for dinner with my brother and sister in law.
When I talked with her last Friday, after the Sky's narrow win over the lowly Washington Mystics, I asked what symptoms she experienced during the concussion that took her out of the WNBA All-Star Game and made her sit out two games last week.

She smiled ruefully and looked down for a second. "Dizziness," she said. "Confusion. Nausea. Headaches. "

What was it like for the rookie, who  made history by becoming the first rookie player to win the WNBA All-Star vote by capturing 35,646 fan votes to put her ahead of veterans Candace Parker and Tamika Catchings, to be sidelined from the All-Star game?

As she wrote on her blog:

When I learned that I would not have the opportunity to be a part of All-Star Weekend this year, I was very disappointed. While I knew that it was important for my health and recovery, I was still sad. I was sad not only for myself, but particularly for the loyal fans who voted to watch me play among the amazing talent of the other All Stars.

She said she took her recovery day-by-day, and did everything the doctors asked of her.

But still, she couldn't watch the game. "I didn't want to torture myself," she said. "I couldn't even watch it."

But Delle Donne was practical about her forced time off. "My body needed the rest, and so did my brain."

Delle Donne was forced to wait patiently while dizziness, nauses and headaches cleared.

Delle Donne was forced to wait patiently while dizziness, nauses and headaches cleared.

And yet, as the Sky struggled to keep their lead over the Washington Mystics in Friday night's eventual win, I asked her if she felt like jumping off the bench.

"I always feel like jumping in," she said. "I want to help my team win."

It was a bad ending to a great July for Delle Donne, who earned her second "Rookie of the Month" award by scoring points (16.4), free throw percentage (,909) and minutes (30.8). She ranked seventh overall in free throwpercentage, eighth in scoring and second in blocks (1.6). Delle Donne scored in the double-digits in six out of her seven games.

On July 2, Delle Donne achieved her first double-double of the season, scoring 12 points
and taking down 12 rebounds against the Seattle Storm. She followed with 23 points,
going 9-for-9 at the charity stripe, against the Connecticut Sun on July 12. She matched
her career high in blocks (4) against New York on July 18 and July 20

After winning her second consecutive WNBA rookie of the month award yesterday, Delle Donne received the great news that she could return to practice and that she had been cleared to play for the first time since suffering the concussion on July 24.

With a Chicago Sky playoff run in the near future, Delle Donne appears poised, eager to shake this experience off and move forward. She concluded her All-Star blog:

"I am really looking forward to the opportunity to experience All Star games in the future of my career."


Elena Delle Donne scored 17 points for the Sky against the New York Liberty.

Elena Delle Donne, ever optimistic, always smiling

Sky coach Pokey Chatman says she will be in the starting lineup against Indiana Tuesday night at Allstate Arena. The game will air at 7 pm on The U Too and WNBA LiveAccess.

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