The Phoenix Mercury’s push for one of the final playoff spots in the WNBA amid a tumultuous season got even more difficult on Monday. The team announced a hardship signing of Yvonne “Vonnie” Turner after an injury to Diana Taurasi, somewhat burying the lede that Taurasi’s quad strain that had caused her to miss the last two games would officially end her season.
The Phoenix Mercury has signed Yvonne “Vonnie” Turner to a hardship contract due to an injury suffered by Diana Taurasi. pic.twitter.com/1Avbds0zJ7
— Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) August 8, 2022
the mercury announced diana taurasi will miss the rest of the season due to a quad strain pic.twitter.com/2QtDOh5Bmv
— Matt Ellentuck (@mellentuck) August 8, 2022
Taurasi has averaged 16.7 points, 3.8 assists, and 3.4 rebounds per game this season in 31 games with the Mercury, playing in all but two contests so far. Her 16.7 points per game is the second-most on the current roster behind All-Star Skylar Diggins-Smith, whose status as the Mercury’s primary option will only increase in Taurasi’s absence. For a team that is currently tied for 7th in the WNBA standings with the Atlanta Dream at 14-19, this is a considerable loss and will only make their efforts to hold onto a playoff spot tougher.
Phoenix is just a half-game up on the ninth-place New York Liberty (13-19) and one game up on the Los Angeles Sparks and Minnesota Lynx, both of whom are 13-20, with three games remaining (four for New York). Phoenix close the season with three straight home games against the Lynx on Wednesday, where a Minnesota win would draw them even with the Mercury in the standings, and then the 6th place Dallas Wings and the Chicago Sky, who own the league’s best record.