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A basketball season undermined by illness and injury is over sooner than Elena Delle Donne would have preferred.

The U.S. begins play in the FIBA World Championships Saturday in Turkey . But Delle Donne is not on its 12-woman roster because of a bulging disk in her lower back.

Still, the former Ursuline Academy and University of Delaware All-American, less than two weeks removed from the Chicago Sky being swept in the WNBA Finals, has already made progress toward recovery.

And 2016, with the Summer Olympics positioned on the August calendar, remains firmly in her sights as well.

"I've got six months," Delle Donne said Wednesday, looking ahead to the next WNBA season. "I've got a lot of time to get stronger and get healthy.''

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