Phoenix Mercury's Diana Taurasi expected to miss at least four weeks with fractured sternum

PHOENIX -- Mercury star Diana Taurasi is expected to miss the next four weeks with a fractured sternum, the team announced Tuesday.

Taurasi, the WNBA's leading career scorer, suffered the injury May 16 against the Connecticut Sun. She played the next two games before having a CT scan this week that revealed the small fracture.

Taurasi, who is averaging 15.8 points per game, is sitting at 8,994 career points. She will become the first WNBA player to reach 9,000 if and when she reaches that mark. Second on the list is Tina Thompson, who retired in 2013 with 7,488 points.

The Mercury are 2-2, and Taurasi is averaging 3.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds.

This is the second time in the past three seasons that Taurasi will have missed significant time with an injury. She had back surgery before the 2019 season that kept her out for all but six games.

With the Mercury's expected timeline on Taurasi, she would return somewhere around June 22, a little more than three weeks before the WNBA begins its Olympic break on July 15. Taurasi is expected to play in her fifth Olympic Games and to be the starting shooting guard alongside her good friend Sue Bird.