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Diana Taurasi to miss four weeks with sternum injury

The Phoenix Mercury will not have future Hall of Fame guard Diana Taurasi for the next month.

Diana Taurasi #3 of the Phoenix Mercury dribbles the ball against the Washington Mystics during the second half at Entertainment & Sports Arena on May 18, 2021 in Washington, DC. Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Phoenix Mercury announced on Monday that veteran guard Diana Taurasi will miss the next four weeks due to a small fracture in her sternum. The team said that Taurasi suffered the chest injury against the Connecticut Sun on May 16.

Taurasi was the team’s leading scorer in that game with 19 points on 5-of-12 shooting from the field and 3-of-9 shooting from three-point range. She went on to play in the Mercury’s next two games against the Washington Mystics and the Sun, before a CT scan this week showed the fracture.

With Taurasi on the shelf for the foreseeable future, the Mercury will lean on Skylar Diggins-Smith and Brittney Griner to carry the offense. This season, Diggins-Smith is averaging 16.5 points, 4.8 assists, and 2.8 rebounds in 32.8 minutes per game. Griner is averaging 13.3 points and 7.8 rebounds in 33 minutes per game.

Outside of those two stars players, Kia Nurse could become another reliable scoring option for the Mercury. The former 10th overall pick is averaging 8.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game this season for Phoenix. But in her previous two seasons with the New York Liberty, Nurse averaged 12.2 and 13.7 points per game, respectively.