Skylar Diggins-Smith, Diana Taurasi will miss Mercury’s playoff opener

(Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Phoenix Mercury will be without Skylar Diggins-Smith and Diana Taurasi for at least the first game of their first-round playoff series against the Las Vegas Aces, the team announced Tuesday.

For Wednesday’s opener, Taurasi continues to deal with a right quad injury, while Diggins-Smith is listed as not with the team for personal reasons.

Diggins-Smith has not played since an Aug. 4 loss to the Connecticut Sun – a loss that came on the same day that teammate Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in a Russian penal colony. A league source told The Next Hoops that Diggins-Smith is not expected to return for the playoffs.

While Diggins-Smith is still under contract next year, Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard said the guard’s future in Phoenix in the playoffs and beyond is unclear.

“I’m not too sure right now,” Nygaard said. “We’re not sure what that looks like right now. But [going into the playoffs], we’re going to prepare with the group that we have. And you know, get ready for anything.”

Diggins-Smith recently was named to the AP’s All-WNBA Second Team after finishing third in the league in points per game (19.7), seventh in assists (5.5), eighth in steals (1.5) and ninth in blocks (1.0).