NEW YORK — A day after Liberty players, coaches and staff shipped off for the Florida bubble at the IMG Academy, another player announced she would not be joining them. Asia Durr, the Liberty's 2019 No. 2 overall pick, confirmed on Tuesday she would not play this season because she has been battling the coronavirus for a month.
"After much thought and consultation with my doctors and the Liberty, I have decided not to play the 2020 WNBA season," Durr wrote in a post to her Instagram page. "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 made the difficult decision on a deadline to opt out as a medical High Risk player."
Durr, who would have returned to the Liberty a second-year guard trying to redeem herself after an injury-shortened 2019, announced her diagnosis on Tuesday.
"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," Durr wrote. "I want to thank my teammates, the Liberty organization, our fans and my 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."
When the WNBA announced in June its plans to carry out a season in a bubble scenario in Florida, full details on what that season would entail weren't released until two days before the league mandated players had to make a decision, according to an ESPN report. Teams have been lenient with that initial June 25 opt-out deadline.
"Asia worked extremely hard this offseason to put herself in position to take a major leap forward in her second WNBA season," Liberty GM Jonathan Kolb said in a statement. "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."
The Liberty now have four confirmed players who won't be on the team's roster during the pandemic-altered season in Bradenton, Fla.
Liberty veteran Rebecca Allen opted out on June 25 citing coronavirus concerns. Fellow 2019 Liberty draft pick Han Xu opted out in May, along with Liberty vet Marine Johannes, before the bubble plan was announced.
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