NEW YORK _ Sabrina Ionescu will get a "do over" next season.
Ionescu _ who was forced to miss all but two and a half games of her rookie season after spraining her ankle so badly it almost required surgery _ will be good to go whenever the 2021 season starts, she said Wednesday.
"Physically, I'm doing a lot better now and I think that definitely helps mentally," Ionescu told members of the media over a Zoom call from her home in California. "I'm able to work out now and I'm kind of getting back into my routine so that's been really nice... just doing the proper rehab and, you know, getting my ankle right."
Ionescu was injured during the Liberty's Aug. 31 game against the Atlanta Dream. She was diagnosed with a Grade 3 ankle sprain and was thought to have needed surgery. A second opinion with a doctor back in New York revealed she could heal and rehab her injured ankle without having to go under the knife, a relief for her and for the Liberty.
"If this year hadn't happened and everything wouldn't have happened to me, I think it would have been more of a devastating kind of season-ending injury," Ionescu revealed. "I kind of just took it and continue to go one foot in front of the other and just (figure out) what's next, what can I do now to get better."
Ionescu said she has been able to start doing basketball workouts at her gym, but hasn't been playing any contact because of the ongoing pandemic. (She joked about not really wanting to ask strangers to play pickup games because of social distancing.)
Her routine has also included spending more time with her family, improving her diet to match her career goals, and picking up Pilates and yoga _ she's done some yoga on her own, but she said Wednesday morning, she took a class _ to improve her mobility and flexibility.
She's also spent time with the Bryant family and speaking to her mentors, like Stephen Curry and Pau Gasol, who've talked to her about their experiences with injuries, their first games in the NBA and about life in general.
"It's really given me time to reflect," Ionescu said. "I am really blessed to have played almost three games in the league to just see what it was like and how I needed to train and how I need to prepare to be able to play to that level. So now I can really do that and focus on that and this offseason, which I'm really excited about."
The WNBA only just finished its season on Tuesday. The champion Seattle Storm and runner up Las Vegas Aces were still packing up their apartments on Wednesday. The league hasn't yet set a return date.
Whenever it does, Ionescu will be ready to do what she didn't get the chance to do this season.
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