Mercury's Diana Taurasi returns Sunday from fractured sternum 6 points from milestone

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The GOAT and newly named five-time Olympian is ready to go. 

Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi will return on Sunday after missing a month of action with a fractured sternum. The Mercury host the Los Angeles Sparks on Sunday (Facebook, 6 p.m. ET) in what will be the first full-capacity game at Phoenix Suns Arena this season. 

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Taurasi's return was expected this weekend, but the team made it official on Friday afternoon. 

The veteran is six points away from reaching 9,000 career points and would become the first WNBA player in its 25-year history to reach that milestone. 

She currently has a career record 8,994 points. Tina Thompson is second with 7,488 points. 

Taurasi missed 4 1/2 weeks with chest injury

Taurasi, 39, suffered the injury during a May 16 game against the Connecticut Sun. She played in the next two games until a CT scan revealed a small fracture to the sternum. 

In those two games she scored a total 30 points in 51 minutes on the court. She averaged 15.8 points and 3.8 assists per game in the team's first four games of the season. They went 2-2.

Phoenix (6-7) was on a four-game losing skid until its 80-66 win against the Sparks one week ago in Los Angeles. Sunday's game is the third and final of the season between the teams in addition to the Mercury's 85-80 win on June 16. 

It's a tight race in the middle of the standings with only one game separating sixth-place New York Liberty (7-8) and the 11th-place Atlanta Dream (5-8). There are six games before the Olympic break in July, when Taurasi will join Team USA in Tokyo. 

Taurasi and Sue Bird are vying to be the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals. Team USA is competing for a seventh consecutive gold. 

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