All-Star forward Elena Delle Donne returned to the court after missing 17 of the Chicago Sky's last 18 games due to a Lyme disease flare-up and made an impact in limited minutes.
Delle Donne was primarily a scorer in her 10 minutes of game action, but scored 10 points on 3-for-8 shooting in that time. Just her shooting presence made a noticeable impact, according to Sky teammate Sylvia Fowles who had game-highs of 16 points and 14 rebounds.
"Normally teams will send two (defenders), maybe three at me, but with Elena on the court it's always one-on-one," Fowles said after the game, according to a Sky release. "Her just being on the court gives us much more spacing."
Delle Donne is still not at 100%, but this outcome made the significance of her return - even in limited minutes - quite clear: with the win, the Sky are now just .5 games behind the Liberty for fourth place and the final playoff bid. While the Liberty are starting to find their rhythm lately, Delle Donne getting back to 100% could be a game-changer in the Eastern Conference.
"I feel really good actually," Delle Donne said in the release. "I was happy we were able to keep the minutes down because it's something I'm going to have to build on. I felt it a few times off the court telling coach, 'It's not the Lyme it's the Lungs.' But I feel great now and hopefully that carries into tomorrow."