Dream’s Angel McCoughtry sidelined with season-ending knee injury

FILe - In this July 17, 2018, file photo, Atlanta Dream forward Angel McCoughtry shoots over Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas during the first half of a WNBA basketball game, in Uncasville, Conn. McCoughtry says she is in a better place. And with her back in the Atlanta lineup after taking a year off from the WNBA, so are the Dream.

After suffering a knee injury during Tuesday’s game against the Las Vegas Aces, Atlanta Dream forward Angel McCoughtry will miss the rest of the season.

The Dream— which is in second place in the Eastern Conference and has already clinched a playoff spot— announced Thursday McCoughtry tore ligaments in her left knee due in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s game.

The five-time WNBA All-Star, McCoughtry averaged 16.5 points, six rebounds and three assists in the Dream’s 29 games this season.

“I want to thank all the fans, my coaching staff and teammates for giving me the chance to come back and play for the Dream this season,” McCoughtry said in a statment. “I am disappointed with the injury but I believe our team is in good hands. We have a supportive group and a lot of goals to still accomplish. I plan to be there every step of the way to help us reach them. I appreciate everyone and know I will come back stronger than ever.”

McCougthry, who sat out the 2017 season to rest, has played for the Dream all nine years of her career after being drafted No. 1 overall by the team in the 2009 WNBA Draft.

“I am devastated for Angel,” Dream coach Nicki Collen said in a statement. “Angel is an incredible player but just as important, she has been a good leader and great teammate for us. While I know we have the depth to overcome her loss, we will be excited for her return. I know she will attack her rehab and return better than ever.”

The Dream played without McCoughtry Thursday as they defeated the Los Angeles Sparks, 79-73.  The team returns to action Saturday against the Dallas Wings at 2 p.m. at McCamish Pavilion.