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Diana Taurasi hopes to play through at least the 2022 WNBA season, when her current contract runs out, but knows she may feel differently come the offseason. 

"I hopefully can fulfill my obligation.

But you never know," Taurasi told ESPN. "The offseason is really long in the WNBA. With not playing overseas, it makes that eight months really, really long: to stay game-ready physically and mentally."

Taurasi and the Phoenix Mercury have a must-win Game 4 against the Chicago Sky at Wintrust Arena on Sunday (3 p.m. ET, ESPN). The Sky lead the best-of-five series, 2-1, after the largest margin of victory in a Finals game in WNBA history. 

Taurasi will take offseason to consider retirement  © Provided by Yahoo! Sports Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi (3) during the first half of Game 2 of basketball's WNBA Finals against the Chicago Sky, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Taurasi, 39, said she'll talk with her family in the offseason and "do a little soul-searching" to see if she wants to come back. Her current max contract runs ends after the 2021 season, which would be her 18th in the league. 

"I'll take my time," she said, via ESPN. "When the season's over, I'll disappear like I usually do in the offseason and go back and see what we do."

Taurasi and her wife, former Mercury player and assistant coach Penny Taylor, welcomed their second child to family. Their daughter, Isla, was born Oct. 9 and joins 3-year-old son, Leo. 

Health could be factor for Taurasi retirement 

Taurasi played in 16 of 32 regular season games this season while dealing with a broken sternum, injured ankle and foot injuries. She missed a few games in 2020 and played in only six in 2019 due to a back injury. 

"The mental grind of it is no easy task," she said. "If you're going to play the whole season, you better be locked in. Or the season becomes very long and very difficult. And then that obviously wears on you physically.

"So it's, 'Am I willing to put in the six months of work to be able to play?' You know at this age, you can't just take four months off and think you're going to come and run around with these kids and be OK."

Taurasi used to play overseas in Russia during the offseason and it's where she made the bulk of her money, which she pointed out when she paid for a charter flight home after Game 5 of the semifinals. The time between the end of the WNBA Finals this upcoming week and preseason at the end of April is six months. 

She was recently named "The GOAT" by the WNBA in a fan vote celebrating its 25th anniversary. 

Taurasi, Bird retirements coming 

Taurasi and longtime friend Sue Bird, point guard for the Seattle Storm, played in possibly their last game against each other last month during the second round of the WNBA playoffs. 

Bird, who turned 41 on Saturday, said it's the first offseason she's seriously mulling retirement. The four-time WNBA champion had an emotional moment with Taurasi at midcourt after the Mercury defeated the Storm to move on. Taurasi said the two have discussed possible retirement for a few seasons now. 

 "The conversation of playing and not playing, if you go into our thread, it's been going on for two, three years," Taurasi said, via ESPN. "As the season approaches, we both get into this competitive mode, and we always end up playing again. It's because we still love it."

Bird completed her 18th season this past year. The Seattle crowd chanted "one more year" during her post-game interview. 

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Tags: you’re going ’re going in the offseason but you never know phoenix mercury diana taurasi contract runs the offseason wnba finals the seattle the wnba taurasi really long not playing the seattle her current

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The Omicron symptoms you should NEVER ignore – amid fears ‘cases are being missed’

CORONAVIRUS cases in the UK are 'being missed' as people are looking for the wrong symptoms, an expert has warned

The three main symptoms of Covid-19 include a new persistent cough, a high temperature and a loss of taste and smell.

2Experts have warned that Covid cases could be being missed as they are being mistaken for cold like symptomsCredit: Getty 2Professor Tim Spector today warned that coronavirus cases are being missed in the UKCredit: bbc news

The Omicron variant has made its way across the UK and medics say it could be difficult to detect as the main symptoms are different from those laid out by the NHS.

Medics working in South Africa where the variant was first detected have however said that the main symptoms are fatigue, body aches and a headache.

Dr Angelique Coetzee, a private practitioner and chair of the South African Medical Association said patients have not been reporting a loss of taste and smell.

Other experts have also warned that the symptoms will differ.

King's College London's Professor Tim Spector, who is also the lead on the ZOE Symptom Tracker App, has long called for additional symptoms to be added to the official list given out by the NHS.

Delta is still the dominant variant in the UK but Omicron is spreading, with new estimates claiming cases could hit 90,000 by Christmas.

Most read in Health NewsCOVID RULES New Covid travel rules TODAY in bid to curb rapid spread of Omicron variantVIRUS SPREAD Omicron 'doubling every 3 days' in UK as Javid warns it could scupper recoveryDEEP BREATHS Man who was ‘bunged up’ discovers a TOOTH growing in his noseHIGH ALERT Symptoms of Omicron to watch for in your kids - amid fears of cases in young
The main symptoms of Omicron

While experts have not yet released a full set of symptoms, there are some that have crept up in Omicron cases.

The doctor who first sounded the alarm about Omicron said she pushed for testing for a new strain, after young men that came to the clinic did not have the classic signs of Covid.

Dr Angelique Coetzee, a private practitioner and chair of the South African Medical Association, suggests the main symptoms of Omicron are:

  • Fatigue
  • Body aches 
  • Headache

Dr Coetzee described one “very interesting case” of a six-year-old girl who had “a temperature and a very high pulse rate" - however this is just one anecdotal case.

The clinician, who is also on the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Vaccines, told Reuters that unlike the dominant Delta, so far patients have not reported loss of smell or taste.

Prof Spector said that data from the Zoe symptom study app suggests that about half of all cases at the moment of Delta are being "missed" because they are not presenting with "classic" Covid symptoms of fever, new and persistent cough and a loss or change of smell or taste.

He explained: "Omicron is probably more, much more similar to the mild variants we're seeing in people who have been vaccinated with Delta than anything else," he said.

"And so it is going to be producing cold-like symptoms that people won't recognise as Covid if they just believe the official Government advice."

???? Read our Omicron variant live blog for the latest news

Prof Spector said that it's not yet clear whether or not vaccines will work against the Delta strain, but it's assumed that it could be more transmissible.

He said: "So it means that perhaps twice as many people are going to pass it on from when someone gets it in a crowd.

"That's going to be good news for the individual because we have less cases going to hospital, and partly this is due to our high vaccination rates.

"But it's also means that eventually you will get more deaths and problems, because nearly everyone is infected or re-infected.

"And so, this this means that for the country as a whole, it could be worse news but better for the individual. So it's absolutely no reason for complacency."

It's important that if you think you have Covid-19 that you get a test and isolate - as this will prevent more people from catching the bug.

Omicron seems to be more transmissible primarily because it is more likely to (re-)infect people

Prof Franco BallouxProfessor of Computational Systems Biology and Director, UCL Genetics Institute, UCL

Experts globally are still trying to learn more about Omicron, how transmissible it is and how effective vaccines could be.

Other experts have said that Omicron could present as a 'mild disease'.

Prof Francois Balloux, Professor of Computational Systems Biology and Director, UCL Genetics Institute, UCL, said: “If it were to be confirmed that Omicron causes on average less severe symptoms than Delta, its current frequency in the UK may be underestimated, as people infected with Omicron may be less likely to come forward to get tested.

At this stage, Omicron represents only a small fraction of all Covid-19 cases in the UK, with the Delta variant still causing the bulk of cases (~99 per cent).

“This situation is likely to change in the near future with the number of Omicron cases doubling roughly every three to days [sic].

“If this rate of increase were maintained, Omicron would be expected to become the most widespread variant in the UK within a month or so.”

Prof Balloux added that “Omicron seems to be more transmissible primarily because it is more likely to (re-)infect people”. 

But it may also be because there is a shorter number of days between exposure to the virus, and symptoms showing.

Omicron Covid variant now spreading throughout the UK as Sajid Javid warns it could ‘knock us off our road to recovery’
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