(CBSNewYork)- The WNBA is gearing up for its return at the end of this month, following the NBA’s bubble model and hosting a 22-game regular season in Bradenton, Florida at the IMG Academy. When the league does return, the New York Liberty will be without second-year guard Asia Durr.
Durr and the Liberty announced on Tuesday that last year’s second overall pick will be opting out of the 2020 WNBA season due to medical concerns. In a statement posted to her Twitter account, Durr said that since testing positive for COVID-19 on June 8, she has been battling to recover from the virus and feels its best to continue that fight outside of returning to play this season.
“After much thought and consultation with my doctors and the Liberty, I have decided not to play the 2020 WNBA season. After testing positive for COVID-19 on June 8, my battle with it has been complicated and arduous. As I continue to fight to fully recover, I had to make the difficult decision to opt out on a deadline as a medical High Risk player. So much about this virus is unknown and my heart is heavy, even as I make the decision that I know is best for my long-term wellness. I want to thank my teammates, the Liberty organization, our fans and partners for their compassion. I plan to stay connected to my team virtually and support them on the court and in their efforts around social justice and activism from the bubble however I can. I hope you will do the same.”
Durr had her rookie season cut short by an injury, but she started 15 of the 18 games she played in averaging 9.7 points per outing last season. In a statement released by the team, general manager Jonathan Kolb expressed his support for her decision.
“Asia worked extremely hard this offseason to put herself in position to take a major leap forward in her second WNBA season,” said Liberty General Manager Jonathan Kolb. “While we are disappointed that we will need to wait a bit longer to see her emerge as one of the bright young players in the game, we fully recognize and support the difficult decision she had to make amidst unprecedented circumstances. Brooklyn will be ready for her in 2021.”