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Former UConn women’s star Tina Charles undergoing medical evaluation, doesn’t travel to WNBA bubble

The Washington Mystics’ Tina Charles and Elena Delle Donne did not travel to the WNBA bubble in Bradenton, Fla. and have entered the WNBA player medical evaluation protocol, the Mystics announced Wednesday evening.

FILE - In this May 14, 2019, file photo, New York Liberty's Tina Charles smiles on the bench during the second half of a preseason WNBA basketball game in Uncasville, Conn. The New York Liberty have traded All-Star Tina Charles to the Washington Mystics as part of a three-team deal, according to a person familiar with the trade. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade hadn’t been announced yet.(AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)
FILE - In this May 14, 2019, file photo, New York Liberty's Tina Charles smiles on the bench during the second half of a preseason WNBA basketball game in Uncasville, Conn. The New York Liberty have traded All-Star Tina Charles to the Washington Mystics as part of a three-team deal, according to a person familiar with the trade. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade hadn’t been announced yet.(AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File) (Jessica Hill/AP)

Charles, a 2010 UConn grad who won two national titles as a Husky, and Delle Donne, the 2019 league MVP, are waiting to hear back from an independent panel of doctors that will review their cases for having preexisting health conditions. Should the panel determine they are medically excused for the season, they will be paid 100% of their salaries. They can also opt out of playing if they are not medically excused, but would not be paid.

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Per Doug Feinberg of The Associated Press, if the Mystics still have to pay both Charles and Delle Donne, the reigning WNBA champions will be left with 10 players and won’t be able to sign an additional player.

Assuming Charles does not play, she’ll join her former UConn teammates Maya Moore, Renee Montgomery and Tiffany Hayes in sitting out of the 2020 WNBA season.

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Charles, a seven-time WNBA All-Star and two-time Olympian, was on the cusp of her first season with the Mystics following five seasons with the New York Liberty. She’ll be playing once again for Mike Thibault, with whom she spent her first three seasons in the league in Connecticut.

Alexa Philippou can be reached at aphilippou@courant.com

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