The season hasn’t even started yet for the Minnesota Lynx, and they’ve already suffered a blow that will result in one of their newest offseason additions missing an extended period of time.
As the Lynx were preparing to begin their two-game preseason schedule on Saturday in Atlanta in preparation for the 2021 WNBA season tipping off on May 14th, they found out that they will be without rookie Rennia Davis, who was diagnosed with an injury during training camp that will sideline her indefinitely. On Saturday morning, the Lynx announced that Davis underwent an MRI that showed she suffered a stress fracture in her left foot. According to the team, she will be sidelined indefinitely, and any further updates on her status will be provided “when more information becomes available.”
“That’s well out of my league and above my pay grade, as they say,” Lynx head coach and general manager Cheryl Reeve said Saturday regarding the extent of Davis’ injury. “I just know she has a stress fracture in her foot.”
Reeve said they believe Davis suffered her injury at the end of her college career at Tennessee during the SEC Tournament until a subsequent MRI revealed the stress fracture.
“(The injury) was a situation that developed for her at the end of her college career,” Reeve said. “I know in the SEC Tournament she remembers injuring her foot. She then went on to play in the NCAA Tournament. Maybe from her standpoint, she just thought there was some soreness. … It wasn’t until she started exerting herself more fully in camp that she expressed the soreness was increasing. She only practiced three or four days, and I think it was the third day we did the imaging.”
The injury and resulting loss of Davis for an extended period of time is obviously a big blow to both Minnesota and the rookie Davis, who was drafted out of Tennessee with the 9th-overall pick in the 2021 WNBA Draft. Davis was viewed as a player who would play a sizable role off the bench during her rookie campaign, providing her new team with the flexibility of someone who could play multiple positions.
“This is a player who was trying to play, and when she started talking about soreness, we took action. We’re lucky that we did,” Reeve said. “She’s pretty disappointed, as you would expect, because she wants to be out there and learning. … She must have a high pain tolerance because she was doing stuff on a stress fracture in her foot.”
Moving forward, the Davis injury also puts the Lynx in an interesting position heading into the regular season. They were already planning on carrying 11 of the maximum 12 players on the roster to start the year. And with Kayla McBride wrapping up her season overseas in Turkey and Napheesa Collier finishing up her time playing in France — both likely arriving late to begin the regular season schedule — Minnesota could find itself with just eight rostered players on opening night.
“When you’re a team that plans to only have 11 players, you now have 10 that are healthy until (Davis) can return, you don’t have plans for that,” Reeve said. “It’s when you fall below 10 that you have an opportunity to add to your roster through hardships. I’m not trying to get there from an injury standpoint, but we will from absences. We have two absences likely. … You take those three out of it, we’re at eight. We will have to have some relief, and that’s the next steps for us to go through.
“We’ll have to do some GM’ing as we get through camp. Coaches prefer that GMs are not involved during the season because that means shit’s going awry. We’re going to have to start with the GM working harder than she wants to.”
What Reeve and Minnesota do with the roster in the coming weeks is yet to be determined, but it appears as though the Lynx will be very shorthanded for at least the first few games of the 2021 regular season.