Liberty star Ionescu undergoes ‘minor’ procedure on ankle

Sabrina Ionescu Liberty WNBA
New York Liberty star guard Sabrina Ionescu underwent a minor ankle procedure on Monday.
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu underwent an ankle procedure the team called “minor.”

The procedure was done to remove calcified scar tissue.

The No. 1 pick in the 2020 WNBA draft, Ionescu sustained a Grade 3 left ankle sprain in New York’s 84-78 setback to the Atlanta Dream on July 31 — her third game in the league.

“She had a minor ankle procedure to remove a loose bone chip that was irritating a tendon behind her ankle,” said Dr. Martin O’Malley, who performed the procedure on Monday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. “This chip that occurred during her sprain in July did not involve the ankle joint cartilage surface and we expect a complete recovery. The ligaments she tore during her injury have all completely healed and there was no need for an ankle ligament stabilization procedure.”

Ionescu, 22, said she expects to return at full strength when the league resumes play next year.

“With the long offseason, I am committed to returning in 2021 fully prepared to rejoin my team and jumpstart my WNBA career,” she said. “My rehab has been going very well and I look forward to getting back on the court.”

A 5-foot-11 guard, Ionescu averaged 18.3 points in 26.6 minutes per game for the Liberty before the injury.

A product of Oregon, Ionescu capped a storied collegiate career as the only athlete in NCAA men’s or women’s basketball history to surpass 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 1,000 assists. In addition, she notched an NCAA-record 26 career triple-doubles.