Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Los Angeles Sparks star Candace Parker will miss the start of the WNBA season to get healthy, the team said Thursday.
The Sparks said the two-time league MVP would miss "an undetermined number of games" before joining the team.
Parker plays in a Russian league during the WNBA offseason.
"This was a decision Candace made that she felt was in the best interest of her health and in the best interest of the team," Sparks general manager Penny Toler said in a statement.
"Our goal has always been to win another championship, and having a healthy and rested Candace Parker will undoubtedly help us down the stretch. We are confident in our returning core leaders, WNBA champions and international stars that will lead the Sparks. When Candace is ready, she will return to the court healthy and rested to help the Sparks in our quest to win the 2015 title."
Parker has played all seven of her WNBA seasons for the Sparks since they drafted her No. 1 overall in 2008. The three-time All-Star has averaged 17.7 points, including 19.4 points last season.
In February, five-time WNBA scoring champion Diana Taurasi announced she would skip the 2015 WNBA season to rest. Taurasi's contract with her Russian Premier League team -- the same one Parker plays for -- includes a clause that pays her during the summer. According to ESPN.com, the amount is greater than the salary she earns with the Mercury.
But Toler, the Sparks general manager, told The Associated Press that Parker intends to play in the WNBA this season and, according to the player, "is not getting paid at all" by the Russian team.
The Sparks' season begins on June 6 in Seattle.