New York Liberty top pick Nyara Sabally to sit out WNBA season

Nyara Sabally, the No. 5 pick in the WNBA draft by the New York Liberty on Monday, won't play this WNBA season as she recovers from a knee injury, the Liberty announced Friday.

The announcement comes one day after the Liberty said Sika Kone, a center from Mali who was the Liberty's No. 29 pick, also will not play in the WNBA this season. Kone, 19, had arthroscopic surgery on her right knee in March. The Liberty felt with her young age and the rehab she needs to do, Kone was a pick for New York's future.

That will be the case now for Sabally, too. She was limited to 47 games in her career at Oregon as she dealt with knee injuries. When healthy, though, she was one of the top collegiate post players this season, averaging 15.4 PPG and 7.8 RPG. New York was aware of Sabally's injury situation before drafting her.

"We knew heading into the selection for Nyara that there was a very strong chance that she would not play this year because of her current health condition," Liberty general manager Jonathan Kolb said. "We're going to have her rights going forward and we're going to work with Nyara and her representatives and doctors to make sure that she's ready for 2023."

Sabally's older sister, Satou Sabally, was the No. 2 pick in the 2020 draft and plays for the Dallas Wings.

WNBA teams begin training camp on Sunday, and the 2022 season starts May 6.