Leilani Mitchell has mixed emotions about her trip from Newcastle to the US.
The Washington Mystics recruit wants to continue her career in the WNBA ahead of a second Olympic shot with the Opals in Tokyo next year, however, as the coronavirus crisis continues to deepen in America it has also left the point guard understandably apprehensive.
"I'm quite nervous to be honest," Mitchell, who departed Australia on Friday, told the Newcastle Herald.
"Just with everything that's going on and I don't want to get sick.
"There's only one flight a day over there at the moment with United [Airlines] because Qantas and Virgin aren't flying.
"You're required to wear masks but I'll still wear gloves, keep a hoodie on and try to avoid people at the airport as much as I can.
"Once you get into the [WNBA] bubble there will be temperature checks every day and regular testing.
"I'm sure everything will be fine, especially once we start playing, but it's all a bit of a worry."
The 35-year-old, who has recently enjoyed an extended period of time at home in Hamilton with partner Mikaela Dombkins and their son Kash, is expected to undergo COVID-19 quarantine upon arrival overseas before heading to Washington DC for standard pre-season examinations.
Mitchell, who was signed by the Mystics from the Phoenix Mercury earlier this year, will then join the defending champions in what's set to become WNBA headquarters at the IMG Academy in Florida.
Following training camps for each of the 12 franchises, the abbreviated campaign is scheduled to tip off later this month but a draw has yet to be released.
Mitchell said the 22 rounds would be crammed into two months, finishing in mid-September and culminating in a regular play-off series.
"We're going to have three or four games a week," the two-time WNBA most improved said.
"Once the games start we'll pretty much just have games, any training will probably be pretty light or watching video.
"We normally have two or maybe three games in a week anyway, plus travel, so hopefully being in the bubble and not having to travel helps."
Player rotation will become an important factor for WNBA squads, but Mitchell was already looking at extra minutes and elevation to the starting five at Washington with first-choice ball handler Natasha Cloud recently opting to sit out the season to focus on the Blak Lives Matter movement.
"I was probably already playing a few more minutes than originally planned," the University of Utah hall of famer said.
"But there's quite a few girls that can play that position and I think that's going to be important given the type of season we're looking at. There's no way too many girls are playing over 30 minutes consistently with games so close together."
Mitchell was named the Southside Flyers' inaugural MVP after the 2019-20 WNBL season.
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