Las Vegas Aces injury report (May 31): Latest on Chelsea Gray and Kierstan Bell's status

The Las Vegas Aces will be without Chelsea Gray and Kierstan Bell for Friday
The Las Vegas Aces will be without Chelsea Gray and Kierstan Bell for Friday's matchup against the Atlanta Dream. [photo: Gray and Bell IG, Aces X]

The Las Vegas Aces are in Atlanta to take on the Dream on Friday without key players Chelsea Gray and Kierstan Bell. Both will be in street clothes when the two-time defending champs try to extend a modest two-game winning streak. Becky Hammon, though, remains confident her team has enough behind A’ja Wilson and Kelsey Plum to get another road win.

Hammon said that the Aces are “taking a super slow” approach to Gray’s recovery and return. The star guard has not seen action since Game 3 of the 2023 WNBA Finals against the New York Liberty due to a left leg injury. According to the multi-titled coach, Gray has to be in a walking boot every time she's in public as an extra precaution.

The Las Vegas Aces have not given a definite timeline for Chelsea Gray’s return. She has said on a few occasions, though, that she will not be sitting out the entire 2024 campaign. Last year, she didn’t miss a game, so the Aces are hoping that she will be back to her durable self once she returns to action.

Meanwhile, Kierstan Bell will also be on the inactive list on Friday versus the Atlanta Dream. She last appeared in the Aces’ season-opening game against the Washington Mystics. Like Gray, she's in a walking boot due to a right leg injury.

Las Vegas Aces coach Becky Hammon expects Kierstan Bell to be out for at least some time

Leading into the Lynx game, Becky Hammon admitted that the Las Vegas Aces will not have Kierstan Bell for a “couple more weeks.”

Bell’s injury is quite complicated. She injured it in the Aces’ training camp after landing on a teammate’s foot. But she has been reportedly dealing with Achilles issues for months while playing in the offseason with the Athletes Unlimited league.

The three-peat-seeking team will also be extra cautious in dealing with Bell’s injury. Gray could return a bit sooner than Bell, based on multiple reports.

The Aces are doing well without two key players

The Las Vegas Aces have answered questions about how they will play without Chelsea Gray to start the season.

Without Gray, their engine on offense over the past three seasons, Hammon has relied on Jackie Young and Kelsey Plum for that role. The 2022 WNBA Finals MVP is also helping out by serving as an assistant coach, with Young and Plum as her main focus.

Kierstan Bell’s absence has been mitigated by the arrival of rookie Kate Martin. Hammon has raved about Martin’s work ethic, smarts and poise in big games. The Aces have also counted on Sydney Colson for backcourt depth.

The Las Vegas Aces know that it’s a long season so they are not rushing the two to return. They will hope that they have a complete cast when the playoffs come as they look to complete a WNBA grand slam.

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