WNBA
Alexa Philippou, ESPN 47d

Star guard Arike Ogunbowale will miss first-round series for Dallas Wings and it 'hurts my heart'

WNBA, Dallas Wings

Two-time WNBA All-Star guard Arike Ogunbowale will miss the rest of the WNBA regular season and the Dallas Wings' first-round playoff matchup after undergoing a successful iliac crest core muscle avulsion repair, the team announced Tuesday.

Further updates will be provided "at the appropriate time," per the team.

"Hurts my heart that I can't be out there with the team, but my dawgs gon hold it down always," Ogunbowale tweeted. "Go Wings!!!"

The Wings (17-16) have won a league-best five consecutive games, three of which were without Ogunbowale, and with their franchise star on the sidelines clinched the sixth of eight playoff spots Monday thanks to a win over the New York Liberty. Two of their wins without Ogunbowale were over the top-ranked Chicago Sky and Las Vegas Aces.

The former Notre Dame standout last took the floor Saturday against Indiana, when she suffered the abdominal injury and had to be carried into the locker room by team personnel.

That was her first game back after dealing with an ankle issue that sidelined her for the previous two contests.

Ogunbowale is the Wings' top scorer at 19.7 points per game and has finished in the top five in the league in scoring since she was drafted in 2019. The 5-8 guard, also the 2021 All-Star Game MVP and a 2020 All-WNBA First Team selection, signed a contract extension with the Wings this offseason that'll keep her in Dallas through 2025.

Fellow star Satou Sabally has also missed significant time for the Wings because of an ankle injury, last suiting up July 12 and playing just 11 games in all.

Nonetheless, the Wings have played some of their best basketball of the season as the playoffs near, with Teaira McCowan and Veronica Burton thriving since being inserted into the starting lineup alongside Kayla Thornton, Allisha Gray and Marina Mabrey. That lineup boasts a team-best 11.5 net rating for lineups that have played at least 50 minutes together over the past five games.

The Wings could at best earn a No. 6 seed in the playoffs, which would slot them into a matchup against the No. 3 seed, and at worst could finish No. 8 in the standings, setting them up for a showdown against the No. 1 seed. Their remaining games are Wednesday against the Liberty, Friday at the Phoenix Mercury and Sunday at the Los Angeles Sparks. All three teams are in the hunt to earn the two remaining playoff berths.

The first round of the playoffs -- a best-of-three series -- will take place Aug. 17-24, while the semifinals kick off Aug. 28.

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