The New York Liberty became one of the WNBA's most exciting teams during the offseason. But with training camp underway, two of the team's new superstars, Courtney Vandersloot and Jonquel Jones, are not at full capacity.
Training camps opened across the league Sunday. Vandersloot's lip was reportedly cut open from a hit to the face during live-action workouts Monday, according to Myles Ehrlich of Winsidr. The Liberty reportedly shut Vandersloot down for the day out of caution. On Tuesday, the team announced the guard was placed in concussion protocol.
Vandersloot's on-court injury wasn't the only news to come out of Day 2 of the Liberty's training camp. On Monday, 2021 MVP Jonquel Jones told reporters she sustained “like a stress reaction” in her left foot while playing for the Connecticut Sun during the Finals last year, according to The Athletic's Ben Pickman.
“I’m still restricted on it right now … but every day, I’m building on it, adding more time," she said.
Jones, a four-time WNBA All-Star, was traded from the Sun to the Liberty in a three-team trade with the Dallas Wings. The team quickly garnered super-team buzz while signing two-time WNBA champion Breanna Stewart and Vandersloot to a team that already featured Sabrina Ionescu.
Vandersloot's injury seems minor, while Jones' sounds manageable. You can see Jones working out in this video from day one of the Liberty's training camp:
It appears the Liberty are handling both situations as carefully as possible, as the team has experience being hampered by injuries. New York did not play a single preseason game last year because the team didn’t have enough healthy players.
This year, the team is slated to face a fellow super-team in the preseason: the Las Vegas Aces.
Amid the Liberty's offseason improvements, the defending champion Aces added Candace Parker and Alysha Clark to their title-winning returners in A’ja Wilson, Chelsea Gray, Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young.
The matchup of contenders is scheduled for May 13 at Michelob Ultra Arena, one of two preseason games for New York.
The Liberty will also face the Sun on May 10 and will open their regular season against the Washington Mystics on May 19.