Lexie Brown revealed more details of the illness that kept her out for the majority of the WNBA season.
The Los Angeles Sparks guard missed 28 of 40 games this season due to a bacterial infection, which has required multiple surgeries, she revealed to reporters Wednesday.
The first surgery came in mid-June, when the infection was close to becoming septic, Brown said. While she returned to the court for three games in July, she ended up needing another surgery, which sidelined her for the rest of the season. And she will need one more surgery before she can move forward.
“My goal was always to come back,” she said. “My mentality was to always conquer this and get back on the court. And that was always the conversations we had. But my mind and my body were just not matching up.”
While dealing with the infection and the recovery from her surgeries, Brown, 28, often found herself in “too much pain” to attend games or practices — or even to leave her apartment.
“Day to day, I’m OK. I can do normal things. But I’m in pain all the time, and it’s just been really difficult,” Brown said. “I can’t do any type of exercising at all. So that’s been one of the hardest parts for me too. But I’m getting through it.”
In her 12 games, she averaged a career-high 12.4 points per game, as well as 2.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists. She also had a career-high 48.6% shooting percentage.
As Brown navigated her health ordeal, she and the team offered few details. She did open up about her journey in a TikTok video in August, saying the recovery process has been “a lot longer” and “a lot harder” than she expected. On Wednesday, she praised the Sparks for maintaining her privacy and for offering their unwavering support.
“The team was so amazing through this entire thing. The organization was amazing. They kept it all extremely private, which I appreciate so much, because it was hard when people have a lot of opinions and thoughts of what was really going on with me…
“I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I need to start visualizing positivity more, so: I will be healthy for next season.”
"My mind and my body were just not matching up." @Lexiebrown speaks to the media about her health this season. pic.twitter.com/3dvSaaOFdW— Los Angeles Sparks (@LASparks) September 13, 2023
"My mind and my body were just not matching up." @Lexiebrown speaks to the media about her health this season. pic.twitter.com/3dvSaaOFdW