Liberty's Allen had more serious injuries in WC than reported

ByAlexa Philippou ESPN logo
Wednesday, October 12, 2022
ESPN

New York Liberty star Bec Allen suffered a more severe injury than initially reported when playing for the Australia national team at the 2022 FIBA Women's World Cup.

The Opals now say she suffered fractures to two ribs and a partial lung collapse after initially saying she had "no apparent structural damage."

Following the injury, Allen, 29, appeared in the quarters and semifinals for Australia, playing 16 minutes in all.

The seven-year WNBA veteran was a starter and heavy contributor for the Opals. In the three games she played healthy, Allen led Australia in scoring twice with 16 points each against France and Serbia.

But after she collided with a pair of Serbian players in the final two minutes of Australia's third game of group play and had to be wheeled into the locker room, Allen missed the next two games of the tournament. She briefly appeared for two minutes against Belgium in the quarterfinals and then faced China for 14 minutes in the semifinals.

"No concern [of further injury]," Opals and Liberty head coach Sandy Brondello told ESPN at the time of the incident. "It's just a pain thing, and she's getting better and better. It's what she can tolerate, but she can't get any worse."

Allen did not appear in the bronze-medal game, where Australia ensured it would medal with a 95-65 victory over Canada following a disappointing eighth-place finish at the Tokyo Olympics last year.

"I think everyone who witnessed the impact of that collision saw how much pain I was in," Allen said in a statement. "Further scans have indicated that the injuries were more substantial than first diagnosed. Based on the initial diagnosis, I attempted to play in the Semi Final against China but the injuries prevented me from continuing."

Valencia, Allen's overseas team, initially reported the rib fractures. Basketball Australia confirmed the fractures as well as a partial lung collapse, both of which were revealed "upon [Allen's] returning to Melbourne [after she] reported ongoing discomfort."

Allen will remain in Melbourne to receive further treatment before playing for Valencia, which said her recovery could take approximately two months.

Allen had a tough summer injury-wise in the WNBA, as well, appearing in just 25 regular-season games for the Liberty after suffering a concussion in June and multiple subsequent collisions.

"I've had my fair share of injuries during my career. I know my body, and I will do the work to recover and return to the court as soon as I can," Allen said in a statement. "I am also really grateful for all the good wishes and kindness I received from everyone and will forever be super proud of my amazing teammates and the Bronze medal we achieved in Sydney."