Las Vegas center Liz Cambage returned to WNBA games for the first time since Aug. 28 in the regular season finale, after dealing with COVID-19. She played 9½ minutes and had four points and four rebounds as the Aces won 84-83 in Phoenix.
“After lying in bed for 2½ weeks, I have lost my fitness a bit,” Cambage said in a video call after the match. “I’m just very grateful that COVID did not get into the lungs, and I think I got the vaccine to thank for that. I’m grateful to be back with the girls; it was hard.”
Because the Aces are No. 2 seed in the upcoming WNBA playoffs, they have a double goodbye to the best-of-five semifinals starting Sept. 28. It gives Cambage a chance to work on conditioning.
“The girls really kept it down and locked themselves in the other place and that will really help me get back in it,” Cambage said of the aces securing their seed on Friday, finishing 24-8 with Sunday’s win. “They need a break and I have to screw up. They are getting rest and I will try to catch up with them. I lost 15 kilos with this so I am going to move easily on the pitch.”
Cambage, 30, said she began to feel body aches after the aces returned home from a three-match road trip in late August. She entered the COVID-19 protocol and isolated herself with headaches and constant body aches.
“I’m so lucky my mom’s in town all the way from Australia,” Cambage said. “I am so grateful that she was here to look after me and get me back on my feet, and she did not. [COVID-19]. She’s the real MVP right now. “
Cambage believes this is her second match with COVID-19; first, her respiratory system was affected. In March 2020, she wrote on Instagram that she thinks she got COVID-19 in December 2019 while playing in China. She was told it was a “virus infection” and it resulted in a brief hospitalization. Cambage said it took more than a month for her lungs to be free of mucus.
She did not play in the WNBA’s bubble in Bradenton, Florida, last season when she received a medical exemption.