Mercury star Taurasi likely out 12 weeks after back surgery

PHOENIX (AP) — Phoenix Mercury star Diana Taurasi has undergone back surgery to alleviate symptoms from a disk protrusion and will miss the start of the season.

The team said in a statement Thursday that Taurasi had the procedure on Wednesday. Taurasi had been experiencing pain and muscle weakness during offseason workouts, leading to the surgery.

She is expected to return in 10 to 12 weeks. Phoenix opens the season May 25 against Seattle.

The 36-year-old Taurasi has played 14 WNBA seasons, all with the Mercury, and sat out in 2015 to rest. The league’s all-time leading scorer is a three-time WNBA champion, nine-time All Star and was the 2009 MVP.