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July 21, 2009 at 3:10 PM

Storm All-Star Lauren Jackson set to return

LJASG.jpgWell, Los Angeles fans probably can kiss their hopes of having F Candace Parker in the All-Star game good-bye. Or pray that since Sparks C Lisa Leslie didn’t travel with the team for Wednesday’s game due to a right knee injury , that Parker can take Leslie’s place. Because Storm PF Lauren Jackson said she will play on Wednesday and by doing so she’ll have to play in the All-Star game on Saturday.
Jackson (pictured right) is excited about receiving the third-most votes in fan balloting to make her seventh All-Star appearance. But she’s concerned about her strained left Achilles, which she injured in a loss to Detroit last week.
The Australian native has a second doctor’s appointment on Thursday in Seattle and will travel to the All-Star game on Friday. Jackson, and fellow All-Stars F Swin Cash, and PG Sue Bird will rejoin the Storm in San Antonio for the second half of the season, after playing in Connecticut.
“I’m sort of feeling better, so…,” said Jackson when asked if she was being forced to make the trip for the All-Star game. She’s able to run and jump now.
On Saturday, Jackson, 28, was against playing in the game because of the likelihood of swelling in the foot and re-injury. She wanted to rest to focus on the Storm season, where Seattle (10-6) is currently second in the Western Conference. Yet, Jackson did want to participate in the game, the experience will just be different.
“Being injured, it sort of dampens everything because you obviously want to be over there to compete and have fun,” said Jackson, the Storm’s leading scorer (18.9). “Being injured makes it kind of suck. You don’t get to go on the court and you don’t get to enjoy all the fun stuff.
“For me, it’s a matter of getting fit and healthy for tomorrow’s game and then having to face the All-Star game when I come to it. Honestly, planning ahead for me — I don’t plan. I’m nothing when I plan, so, it’s day-by-day.”
Taking Monday off, the Storm had an extended practice, including a film session, today. Jackson did not practice full-on, but coach Brian Agler said she’s at about a five if rating on a scale from 1 to 10.
So far, each team has won on their home court in the LA series. Seattle won the opening matchup 69-67 at KeyArena, but folded in LA in losing 82-55. The struggling Sparks (4-8) have had about a week to prepare for Wednesday’s matchup and are 1-7 on the road this season.
“If you add Candace and Lisa, they’re obviously going to be better with more depth,” said Agler, whose team played LA without Parker and Leslie twice. “They are extremely talented and they’ve been playing good basketball. We have a lot of respect for them.”



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