Stefanie Dolson, taking a selfie during the team’s media day, was a WNBA all-star last season. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

As training camps opened throughout the WNBA this week, many coaches were busy installing new plays well in advance of the league’s 20th opening night May 14.

The Washington Mystics’ Mike Thibault wasn’t one of them. With nearly half the roster unavailable because of injury or overseas commitments, the winningest coach in WNBA history instead focused on conditioning and fine-tuning fundamentals.

Among those outside of the country were all-star center Emma Meesseman, third-year guard Bria Hartley and top defensive forward LaToya Sanders. Point guard Ivory Latta, a two-time all-star, is recovering from offseason right knee surgery and expected to miss four to six weeks.

“It impacts [training camp] a lot,” Thibault said Wednesday during the team’s media day. “We aren’t going to put in a lot of stuff until they get here. We’ll get three or four of them back early next week. Emma might be coming in five days before we play our first game. Thank God we have depth. We have a solid post core, so we can afford to lose somebody there more than others.”

Initial reinforcement in the front court arrived Friday with power forward Tianna Hawkins’s return from France, where she completed her first season with Toulouse Metropole. Hawkins, the third-leading rebounder in Maryland history, missed all of last season following the birth of her first child; she had played in all 34 games as a Mystics rookie in 2014.

From left, Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, Natasha Cloud and Tayler Hill will lead the back court while Ivory Latta recovers from knee surgery. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Sanders, meanwhile, is set to participate in training camp at some point but, according to Thibault, may miss the first 10 games of the regular season while trying to latch on with the Turkish national team ahead of the Rio Olympics. The league’s second-leading shot blocker last season, Sanders is a naturalized Turkish citizen who joined the Mystics before the 2015 all-star break.

Thibault expects to have center Kia Vaughn back for part of training camp as well, on the heels of her season with USK Praha in the Czech Republic. Vaughn had been a starter for the Mystics until an injury last season moved Stefanie Dolson into her spot. Dolson, who then blossomed into an all-star, enters her third season in the best shape of her career.

“Everyone’s been working really hard,” Dolson said of the first week of training camp. “We don’t have a lot of our girls back, so we’ve been a little low in numbers, but we haven’t lacked in our intensity or how hard we have been playing. I think right now it’s just working on building that team chemistry and just individually making sure we’re getting better.”

With Latta rehabilitating, the only true point guard available this week has been Natasha Cloud, whom the Mystics drafted in the second round last year. Cloud started 22 games as a rookie, after Thibault began deploying Latta off the bench to provide the reserves with some offensive punch.

Starter Tierra Ruffin-Pratt can play point guard, having handled those duties sporadically in college at North Carolina, but is more of a defensive-minded wing. Washington’s other guards in camp include Tayler Hill, the No. 4 overall selection in 2013, and Lia Galdeira, the Mystics’ second-round pick (19th overall) this year.

Galdeira, a skilled shooter, left Washington State early to play professionally in the Bulgarian league this past season, averaging a shade over 23 points per game for Haskovo 2012.

In addition to Galdeira, the Mystics have five other rookies in training camp, most notably first-round pick (seventh overall) Kahleah Copper, 6-foot-1 guard-forward from Rutgers. Other non-drafted invitees include forward Chelsey Lee, likewise a former Scarlet Knight; St. John’s guard Danaejah Grant; and East Carolina guard-forward Jada Payne.

Besides Latta and Hartley, Washington’s back court entered training camp without another pair of experienced back-court contributors, too, inKara Lawson and Armintie Herrington. Lawson, a free agent, has elected to miss at least a portion of the season to serve as an NBA analyst for ESPN; Herrington announced her retirement in September after a nine-year career.

“We have a lot of young girls right out of college here, which is nice. It gives them an opportunity as well,” Cloud said. “Training camp is still running really smoothly. We’re definitely excited for what the season holds, but right now it’s just getting through our first week of training camp.”