Monday, August 10th, 2020

WNBA grants medical waiver to Mystics center Tina Charles

Published on July 17, 2020

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Tina Charles. Photo: NBAE/Getty Images.

Tina Charles. Photo: NBAE/Getty Images.

Tina Charles, who was set to play her first season with the Washington Mystics this season, received a medical waiver to opt out of the season in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Charles, who has extrinsic asthma, received the exemption by an independent medical panel appointed by the league. Earlier this week, Charles’ teammate, forward Elena Delle Donne, had her request for a medical waiver denied.

“While we are disappointed that Tina will not be with us this summer, we fully understand the reason for her medical exemption and look forward to having her with us next season,” head coach Mike Thibault said. “Again, the health of our players takes precedence. There hasn’t been anything normal about playing this season, but we are prepared and excited to play with the group that is here in Florida. We are looking forward to starting our first game with Indiana on the 25th.”

Charles wrote an essay in The Players’ Tribune about receiving the waiver and explained her condition.

My condition, called extrinsic asthma, impacts my immune system and would make playing during a pandemic a very risky and dangerous proposition. So recently the decision about whether to play or not was made for me when the league granted me a medical waiver for the upcoming season.

Charles, a 10-year WNBA veteran, signed with the Mystics during free agency in April. She was selected first overall in the 2010 Draft by the Connecticut Sun. She was traded to New York from Connecticut in 2014. Charles has career averages of 18.1 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 32.4 minutes in 330 career games (all starts) in New York and Connecticut.


 

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