WNBA MVP Stewart has season-ending surgery

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Jalen sounds off on WNBA pay (1:59)

Jalen Rose and David Jacoby react to Breanna Stewart's Achilles injury and bemoan the lack of pay and benefits for WNBA players compared to the NBA. (1:59)

WNBA MVP Breanna Stewart of the Seattle Storm underwent surgery Thursday on her ruptured right Achilles tendon and will miss the 2019 season.

The Storm said in statement that she is expected to make a full recovery for the start of the 2020 season.

Stewart, 24, playing for Russia-based Dynamo Kursk in Europe, was hurt Sunday in the EuroLeague Final Four championship game in Sopron, Hungary. She had an MRI on Monday in Los Angeles after traveling back from Europe, and the results weren't reviewed by a physician until Wednesday.

"First off, I just want to thank you for the tremendous amount of love and support I've received over the past few days," Stewart said in her announcement. "The situation is still a shock to me. ... This year especially has been amazing and filled with lots of success and as we all know there are highs and lows throughout a career.

"This is just another obstacle that I will overcome. I'm thankful that I have so many people in my corner to help me every step of the way. I'm feeling every emotion possible at this point but just know that the bounce back will be real and I'll be back better than ever."

Stewart's surgery was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache and Dr. Kenneth S. Jung of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles.

"This is a tough time for Stewie and our hearts go out to her," Storm CEO Alisha Valavanis said in a statement. "The Storm family is behind her and we will support Stewie in every way we can as she begins her journey back to the court."

Stewart led the Storm to the franchise's third WNBA title last September and then helped the United States win the gold medal in the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup later the same month. She was MVP for the WNBA Finals and the World Cup, and last month was named the EuroLeague's regular-season MVP as well.

Stewart also played for the United States in the 2016 Olympics and is still expected to be a key part of the 2020 Olympic team. Generally, rehabilitation for an Achilles injury lasts nine months to a year.