Aces star Liz Cambage, acquired in a blockbuster trade earlier this month, expects to make her 2019 WNBA season debut after sitting out Las Vegas’ opener Sunday, an 83-70 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks because of tendinitis in an Achilles.
“We’re almost there, and we don’t want to have any setbacks at this point,” Aces coach Bill Laimbeer said (via the Las Vegas Review-Journal). “It’s a long season, and we expect her to be here for a lot of years. What does one game mean in the scheme of things?”
Still, Cambage said sitting Sunday was out of an abundance of caution.
“I feel like I could have played today, but we’ve got a plan, and I need to follow it,” Cambage said after the victory (via espnW.com ). “I wanted to be out there so bad, but the girls didn’t even need me tonight. The plan has me playing on Friday, so I’ll be back on Friday.”
The Aces are favored to win the 2019 WNBA title, in no small part because they acquired Cambage from the Dallas Wings on May 16 for Moriah Jefferson, Isabelle Harrison and two 2020 draft picks in 2020.
A 6-8 center from Australia, Cambage was the runner-up to the Seattle Storm’s Brianna Stewart for league MVP in 2018 after leading the WNBA in scoring (23 points per game) and rebounding (9.7 per game). She also set a single-game scoring record (53 points) last season.
She’s another All-Star weapon on a talent-laden team in Las Vegas.
“I’ve been here for a week, but the smile has not left my face this whole time,” she told reporters.
Cambage will get a stern individual test Friday in her first game action since the FIBA Women’s World Cup in September. The Aces will play the Phoenix Mercury, who are led by another star center, Brittney Griner.