WNBA star Breanna Stewart tears Achilles' tendon, expected to miss upcoming season

/ CBS/AP

Breanna Stewart on September 7, 2018 in Seattle. Abbie Parr / Getty

Breanna Stewart, the Seattle Storm star and reigning WNBA MVP, is expected to miss the upcoming season after she ruptured her Achilles' tendon in her right leg. Stewart injured the leg on Sunday in the EuroLeague Women championship game.

She flew to Los Angeles where test results confirmed the injury. The Storm announced the diagnosis on Wednesday.

"As we all know there are highs and lows throughout a career," Stewart tweeted. "This is just another obstacle that I will overcome. I'm thankful that I have so many people in my corner to help me every step of the way. I'm feeling every emotion possible at this point but just know that the bounce back will be real and I'll be back better than ever."

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She will undergo surgery performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache at a date to be determined. She is expected to make a full recovery for the start of the 2020 season.

Stewart was playing for Dynamo Kursk, a Russian club, when she appeared to land awkwardly on the foot of fellow WNBA star Brittney Griner after attempting a jumper late in the first half against UMMC Ekaterinburg. She immediately grabbed at her lower right leg while grimacing in obvious pain.

Prayers up for @BreannaStewart who was carried off the court after an awkward landing on her ankle 🙏. #EuroLeagueWomen pic.twitter.com/5l89Vd6bsV

— EuroLeague Women (@EuroLeagueWomen) April 14, 2019

Stewart was attended to by trainers on the court before being helped to the locker room while not putting any weight on her right leg.

Achilles injuries, of course, are tricky for basketball players, CBS Sports writes. DeMarcus Cousins ruptured his Achilles at the end of January last year with the Pelicans and returned about a year later. The injury is tough, but not insurmountable.

"This is a tough time for Stewie and our hearts go out to her," Storm CEO and General Manager Alisha Valavanis said. "The Storm family is behind her and we will support Stewie in every way we can as she begins her journey back to the court."

The 24-year-old Stewart won four national titles at UConn, and was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 WNBA draft. She won both the league and finals MVP awards while leading the Storm to the franchise's third WNBA title this past season.

Stewart has played overseas in the offseason since she joined the WNBA. Her Dynamo Kursk squad fell 91-67 after she left the game.

First published on April 17, 2019 / 4:30 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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