WNBA-appointed doctors deny Delle Donne's medical opt-out request
Ned Dishman / National Basketball Association / Getty

Washington Mystics star Elena Delle Donne's medical opt-out request for the 2020 season was denied by a panel of league-appointed physicians, she told ESPN's John Barr and Sarah Spain.

The reigning WNBA MVP's personal physician believes she's at a high risk of serious illness if she were to contract COVID-19 due to her history with Lyme disease.

"The independent panel of doctors the league appointed to review high-risk cases have advised that I'm not high risk, and should be permitted to play in the bubble," Delle Donne said Monday in a statement.

"I love my team, and we had an unbelievable season last year, and I want to play! But the question is whether or not the WNBA bubble is safe for me. My personal physician who has treated me for Lyme disease for years advised me that I'm at high risk for contracting and having complications from COVID-19."

She continued, "I'm thinking things over, talking to my doctor and my wife, and look forward to sharing what I ultimately plan to do very soon."

The league-appointed doctors consider CDC guidelines when determining if individuals are at a higher risk, according to a draft of the league's health and safety protocol obtained by Barr and Spain. The CDC does not consider Lyme disease an underlying medical condition that would classify an individual as high risk.

Delle Donne can still choose to opt out of the 2020 season but would forgo her entire salary if she isn't medically excused.

"It's still possible she'll opt out," said Erin Kane, Delle Donne's agent. "Like a lot of people, she's making a choice between what's best for her from a health standpoint and what's best for her from a financial standpoint for her and her family."

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WNBA-appointed doctors deny Delle Donne's medical opt-out request
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