WASHINGTON (WDVM) – In 2019, the Washington Mystics won the WNBA championship, but the past two seasons have been affected by COVID-19 and injuries.

If one things was clear at the team’s media day on Monday, it’s that the Mystics are ready to get back to championship form.

“There’s a kind of a quiet confidence about them,” Mystics head coach Mike Thibault said. “I feel like everything is kind of coming together when it’s supposed too. We’ve got a somewhat healthy group at the moment and it feels like we’ve got great things ahead of us too.”

After sitting out the 2020 COVID season and playing just three games in 2021, following multiple back surgeries and due to nerve pain, Mystics star forward/guard Elena Delle Donne expects to be back to full strength for the 2022 season.

“I wouldn’t have gone through what I went through in the past two years if I wasn’t coming out here to compete for a championship,” Delle Donne said. “I don’t just do this for the paycheck or for the heck of it. I want to win.”

WNBA veteran Alysha Clark signed with the Mystics prior to the 2021 season, but did not play the entire season, due to a Lisfranc injury. Clark is set to debut for the Mystics this season.

“It’s been a really long process for me and I think the first day that there was a couple other of the players here, just the energy in the arena changed,” Clark said. “You could feel that shift in atmosphere and it made me super excited.”

Washington will tip off its regular season in a few weeks at home against the Indiana Fever on May 6. The season, that comes with high expectations, will mark the 25th anniversary of the franchise.

“We have our core here. We know each other in and out, we know our strengths and weaknesses and we’re continuing to grow every single season,” Mystics guard Natasha Cloud said. “To have those same faces, to continue to grow together, to kind of go through the storms, there’s going to be let at the end of the tunnel, we all know that.”

One-on-one interview with Mike Thibault