January 20, 2021 

Alyssa Thomas undergoes successful surgery

What does this mean for the Connecticut Sun moving forward?

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Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas (25) shoots during the WNBA game between the Los Angeles Sparks and the Connecticut Sun at Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut, USA on June 06, 2019. Photo Credit: Chris Poss

On Jan. 20, the Connecticut Sun announced that forward Alyssa Thomas underwent successful surgery on Jan. 19 to repair a torn Achilles tendon. 

The news comes one week after Rachel Galligan reported Thomas suffered a lower leg injury and would be returning to the United States to receive further evaluation. She was playing for USK Praha in the Czech Republic when she sustained the injury. 

In the press release, the team stated that no timetable has been set for Thomas’ return, but recovery time is typically expected to be between nine and twelve months. 

Given the circumstances, Connecticut will need to prepare to be without Thomas for most, if not all, of the 2021 season. 

Thomas was critical to the team’s success last year without Jonquel Jones, who sat out the 2020 season. She averaged 15.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 2.0 steals per game. Her defensive presence was unmatched: she was first in the league in steals and third in rebounds and proved herself capable of covering every position on the floor. 

As was proven when Thomas missed time late in the 2020 regular season, no one player will be able to replace her. Jonquel Jones and DeWanna Bonner will have to increase their rebounding presence and everyone will have to increase their defensive hustle. 

The Sun’s offense will look different without Thomas’ ability to drive to the basket and take shots from unique angles, but there is no lack of scoring ability on the roster. 

Bonner proved she could score in bulk, averaging 19.7 points per game and tallying a season-high 34 points against the Los Angeles Sparks on July 30. 

Jones, who averaged 14.6 points per game during the 2019 season, is also expected to be back on the court for the Sun in 2021. 

While this is not an ideal situation for the Sun, the team has other pieces in place that can work together to compensate for the loss of Thomas.

Written by Natalie Heavren

Natalie Heavren has been a contributor to The Next since February 2019 and currently writes about the Atlantic 10 conference, the WNBA and the WBL.

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