Three-time WNBA scoring champion Cynthia Cooper will sit out the rest of the season because of a shoulder injury that requires surgery.
She came out of retirement to play for the Houston Comets this season, and at 40 was the oldest player in the league. She tore her right rotator cuff during practice June 2.
"I would have done anything to play, but after talking with the doctors and our trainer, it was clear that my only real option was to have corrective surgery," Cooper said Thursday. "It was a tough decision, but I will be back next year."
Cooper played in four games this season, averaging 16 points, 2.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists.
The team's physician, Bruce Moseley, had hoped Cooper would be able to rehabilitate the shoulder.
"After a trial of rehabilitation, it was clear that Cynthia's only chance to return to full function was to have surgery," Moseley said.
Cooper, who retired two years ago, coached the Phoenix Mercury to a 10-6 record last season.
In Thursday's games:
Charlotte 58, Phoenix 50 -- Andrea Stinson had 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Sting over the Mercury in front of 6,464 at Phoenix.
Stinson, who scored the first eight Sting points, made eight of 14 shots. Charlotte (5-2) has won five of six.
Anna DeForge, in her first start for the Mercury, scored 10 points. Kayte Christensen also had 10 for Phoenix (1-7), which has lost five in a row.
It was Stinson's sixth career double-double.
Sacramento 68, Minnesota 55 -- Tangela Smith scored 13 of her 17 points in the second half to lead the slumping Monarchs over the Lynx in front of 6,011 at Sacramento.
Edna Campbell had 15 points, rookie Kara Lawson scored 14 and Yolanda Griffith had 13 for Sacramento (3-5), which ended a four-game losing streak and avenged an earlier 72-71 loss to Minnesota.
Tamika Williams had 15 points and Janell Burse scored 13 for Minnesota (3-4).