New York Liberty's Sabrina Ionescu has minor surgery on ankle to remove scar tissue

NEW YORK -- Sabrina Ionescu had minor surgery on her left ankle last week to remove some scar tissue that had formed.

Ionescu missed most of her rookie season with the New York Liberty after suffering a Grade 3 sprain on that ankle in her third game as a pro. She avoided needing surgery to repair that injury but had to do some cleanup on it last week. Dr. Martin O'Malley of the Hospital of Special Surgery performed the surgery.

"It was a really minor procedure. She is completely healed from the initial injury she had in July," Liberty general manager Jonathan Kolb said in a phone interview Monday night. "Something was poking at her and the doctors looked at it. It was calcified scar tissue and we can take that out. We used a camera to exam her tendons and ligaments, and the good news is they are completely healed."

Ionescu is expected to soon be cleared by the Liberty's medical staff to return to physical activity.

"Sabrina had a minor ankle procedure to remove a loose bone chip that was irritating a tendon behind her ankle,'' O'Malley said. "This chip that occurred during her sprain in July did not involve the ankle joint cartilage surface and we expect a complete recovery."

Ionescu averaged 18.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 2½ games before she was hurt.

"With the long offseason, I am committed to returning in 2021 fully prepared to rejoin my team and jump-start my WNBA career,'' Ionescu said. "My rehab has been going very well and I look forward to getting back on the court.''

The league's top draft pick discussed on a Zoom call last month that she was considering playing overseas this offseason. It wouldn't be a financial decision for her, but more that she is concerned about her time away from competitive basketball, having not played since she was injured July 31.

The former Oregon star said that if she were to go overseas, it wouldn't be until 2021 in January or February and that she most likely would head to Europe.

"I wouldn't really be going for the money,'' Ionescu said. "I'd be going for a couple months to kind of just get back into playing basketball, playing against other players. It's really easy to just go through workouts, and it's completely different to play 5-on-5 with refs. There's a few teams that I was talking to before the WNBA season started. So I'll still be talking to them and see if I can go out there later.''