Nneka Ogwumike will miss the next 4-6 weeks with a Grade 2 left knee sprain, the Los Angeles Sparks announced on Thursday. The 6’2 forward left Tuesday’s game in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Wings after falling awkwardly on a cut to the rim.
Updated Injury Report:
Chiney Ogwumike – Out (right knee) *Week-to-Week
Nneka Ogwumike – Out (left knee sprain) *4-6 weeks
— Los Angeles Sparks (@LASparks) June 3, 2021
This is tough news for both the Sparks and Ogwumike. The 30-year-old former MVP was off to a terrific start to the season scoring 16.4 points per game on 58.6 percent shooting with seven rebounds and 1.2 assists. With Candace Parker and Chelsea Gray signing elsewhere in free agency, Ogwumike was expected to shoulder the bulk of the team’s scoring load.
The logical replacement for Nneka would be her sister, former Rookie of the Year Chiney Ogwumike, but the Sparks also announced on Thursday that she’s week-to-week with right knee soreness. She’ll be re-evaluated before L.A.’s trip to Washington D.C.
With rookie Jasmine Walker sidelined to a torn ACL, the Sparks have few options at the forward spot currently on the roster. Amanda Zahui B is likely to play big minutes, along with Nia Coffey and Bria Holmes. L.A. is likely to look to add another contributor through a hardship exception until Chiney returns. But it won’t be easy to replace what the Ogwumikes do on the floor.
If Chiney is able to return on the shorter end of her timeline, she’d still miss the Sparks’ next 10 games. That’s a brutal hit in a 32-game regular season.