October 14, 2021 

Breanna Stewart undergoes successful left Achilles surgery

Stewart should be ready for the 2022 WNBA season

Finally, some clarity.

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The Seattle Storm announced Thursday afternoon that Breanna Stewart successfully received a “minor repair and reinforcement” on her left Achilles. She sustained this injury during the Storm’s antepenultimate game, against the Washington Mystics. Stewart should be fully ready for their 2022 season.

As I described at the time:

“Stewart appeared to land on the inside of her left heel before her crural contact with McCall forced her foot to rotate inwards at an awkward angle as her bodyweight landed on it.”

Go ahead and put your body weight on your left heel, apply forward pressure to your left knee, and gently rotate that foot inwards. You’ll notice the stress on your Achilles.

Given the severity of Achilles injuries — something Stewart herself is quite familiar with — and the Achilles’ sensitivity to injury-aggravation, it’s apparent why she never even practiced with Seattle after her injury. It also explains why the Storm coaching staff never game planned with her in mind for their Second Round game against the Phoenix Mercury.

Stewart will likely miss the entirety of UMMC Ekaterinburg’s season, though she is still under contract with the Russian team for over a million dollars.

Stewart also heads into the offseason with plenty of questions to be answered in Seattle. Everything from whether the Storm will need to core Stewart — freeing Jewell Loyd to chose her own destination in free agency — to whether Sue Bird will even play in 2022 still remains unanswered for Talisa Rhea’s front office.

Stewart, despite missing the last few games of Seattle’s season, was named to the league’s all-WNBA First Team on Friday. She was joined on that team by her teammate, Loyd.

This came the same week Stewart was honored as one of the W25 players at the WNBA Finals. Now, as she recovers, she needs to find more room for her trophies. But her eyes are on something bigger, she told media on Sunday, sounding very much like a player who plans to stay in Seattle.

“I think the next thing that I want to accomplish is continuing to obviously get better individually but getting us back into contention for a championship,” Stewart said. “I think the way we went out this year wasn’t easy, and not being able to have much of a say in it wasn’t very fun for me or great for me.

“In Seattle we have the pieces, and hopefully have another shot at it.”

Written by Em Adler

Em Adler (she/they) covers the WNBA at large and college basketball for The Next, with a focus on player development and the game behind the game.

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