Already without Penny Taylor, the Phoenix Mercury opened the season without Diana Taurasi as well.
Taurasi's status is unclear going into Tuesday night's game in Tulsa as the Mercury try for a ninth straight victory over the Shock.
Phoenix learned it would be without Taylor for the year after she suffered a torn ACL in April. She was second on the team with 16.7 points per game last season while helping to facilitate the WNBA's highest-scoring offense.
The Mercury, however, didn't anticipate opening 2012 without Taurasi, who was a late scratch Sunday with a strained hip flexor. Without its leaders, Phoenix lost 105-83 to Minnesota.
Taurasi is day to day, with the Mercury's official website saying the decision to sit her was precautionary. Taurasi missed two games last season with back spasms, but led the league with 21.6 points per game.
"When she's in, it's kind of like she just settles everyone down a little bit. She's kind of like a safety valve," said rookie Samantha Prahal...