ATLANTA -- Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne injured her left knee in the fourth quarter of Washington's WNBA semifinal Game 2 with the Atlanta Dream and had to be helped off the court at McCamish Pavilion on Tuesday night.
The Mystics lost the game 78-75, evening the series at one game apiece.
Delle Donne, the 2015 MVP and an All-Star captain earlier this year, slipped as she was driving with the ball, and her leg bent backward. She took a few more steps before collapsing next to the basket stanchion. After a timeout with just over 3 minutes remaining, she left the court with assistance from her teammates.
Delle Donne had 27 points, 14 rebounds and 6 assists when she was injured. She had 32 points in leading the Mystics to an 87-84 Game 1 victory on Sunday.
"I mean, I'm walking," Delle Donne said after the game, via the Mystics' media relations director. "The swelling isn't terrible. I'll go home [Wednesday] and see our doctors, and see what they say. But I'm hopeful to be back in the lineup Friday."
The Mystics said Delle Donne was evaluated by the Dream's team doctor. She will fly home to Washington on Wednesday and be evaluated by Mystics physicians. Mystics coach Mike Thibault said he did not want to speculate on Delle Donne's injury.
"I guess I'm cautiously optimistic, but I really don't know," Thibault said. "I don't even feel like saying much until I really know something. I'm not going to overthink it. We've been through it before with Elena missing games, and we've won some. It's a lot harder at playoff time, but we won a game in Phoenix earlier this year [in May] that no one gave us a chance to win, and we didn't have her or Natasha Cloud.
"We just have to see what happens when we get back. You hope our veterans come together. And if you have the culture, you do the right things, which we have. I expect us to compete no matter who's out there."
But Delle Donne, obviously, is a player who can't be replaced. The No. 2 draft pick by Chicago in 2013, she helped lead the Sky to the WNBA Finals in 2014. She won her MVP award while with the Sky after averaging 23.4 points and 8.4 rebounds in 2015. She was traded to Washington, which she requested in large part to be closer to her family in Delaware, for the 2017 season.
This year, Delle Donne averaged 20.7 points and 6.7 rebounds in the regular season for the Mystics, who finished 22-12 to earn the No. 3 seed in the playoffs. Delle Donne missed four games with illness this season, all in late May and early June.
She has dealt with the effects of Lyme disease since her college career at Delaware, and also a back ailment that slowed her during the 2014 WNBA Finals.