INJURY UPDATE: Carson and Williams out for Sparks; Whalen out for Lynx

SEATTLE, WA - JULY 8: Essence Carson
SEATTLE, WA - JULY 8: Essence Carson /

Sparks Injuries

The Los Angeles announced just after 5:00 pm ET that both Essence Carson and Riquna Williams will be out for tonight’s matchup against the Minnesota Lynx.  John Focke tweeted neither player traveled with the team for the second meeting of last season’s WNBA Finals teams.

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Carson is sidelined with a right elbow strain, she is averaging 5.2 points in 19.1 minutes per game for Los Angeles this season. The Rutgers alumna played only eight minutes in her last appearance for the Sparks on July 20 in the 82-80 loss to the Chicago Sky. She missed time earlier in the season with a pulled groin suffered in the 90-59 win over Phoenix on June 18.

Carson was signed by the Sparks after Riquna Williams suffered an Achilles injury.  Williams missed the 2016 season with the Sparks. In her return to the lineup, Williams has posted 6.4 points per game in an average of 17.7 minutes per game. She tallied two points in four minutes of work in the 85-79 loss to Dallas on August 6.

Minnesota without Whalen

The Lynx remain without Lindsay Whalen who underwent surgery August 4. The 14-year veteran suffered a fracture of her fifth metacarpal in her left hand against Atlanta earlier in the month. Minnesota is 1-1 since Whalen’s injury. The team returns home after an 81-72 road win over the Atlanta Dream on Tuesday.

Sylvia Fowles led all scorers with 27 points against the Dream and tallied her 11th 20/10 game.  Minnesota leads the season series 1-0 behind big performances by Fowler (20 points, 13 rebounds) and Renee Montgomery (20 points). Montgomery dropped four shots from 3-point range en route to an 88-77 home win on July 6. Montgomery has stepped into the starting lineup with Whalen out. Another clutch game from her will bode well for Minnesota.

The Sparks and Lynx tip-off at 8:00 pm ET at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN.  For everything you need to know ahead of tonight’s game, read our game preview by Mike Penden.