The team confirmed on Friday via the Associated Press that Austin underwent a successful procedure to repair a torn labrum in her left hip, an injury that significantly impacts the Mystics' roster.
Austin, who has been a key player for the Mystics, appeared in 19 games this season, averaging a notable 10 points and seven rebounds per game. Her absence will be profoundly felt by the team, which has come to rely on her consistent performance on the court.
Selected as the third overall pick in the 2022 WNBA draft from Mississippi, Austin made an immediate impact in her rookie year and was named to the WNBA All-Rookie team. Her ascent was rapid and pointed to a promising career ahead, making the news of her injury and subsequent surgery a significant setback for both Austin and the Mystics.
The injury occurred during a pivotal time for the Mystics last season. Austin also missed playing time in a playoff series against the New York Liberty due to the injury.
Austin's recovery timeline places her return well into the next season, which means the Mystics will have to make strategic adjustments to their lineup. The team will miss her defensive presence and rebounding prowess, and her role as a rising star in the league will be temporarily paused as she focuses on rehabilitation.
The Mystics, and their fans, are hopeful for Shakira Austin's full recovery and return to the court, where she is expected to continue her trajectory as one of the standout centers in the WNBA.