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January 19, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Storm responds after three-time MVP Lauren Jackson’s hamstring surgery

Storm coach Brian Agler talks to his team during a timeout. Lauren Jackson, right, listens with teammates.

Storm coach and general manager Brian Agler said he’s been in contact with All-Star Lauren Jackson since the WNBA season ended through her successful right hamstring surgery in Melbourne on January 7. A native Australian, Jackson is expected to need at least a two-month rehabilitation period following the procedure.

“My observation reading it from afar and just talking to her, it was just sort of a frustrating situation,” Agler said of months Jackson’s medical team spent in finding the exact aliment to treat. “They couldn’t quite get a specific diagnoses. They tried a variety of things and procedures and it just wasn’t getting any better. There were times when she thought that she was making progress and she’d be out on the court and try…she really wanted to play in Canberra. She’s very fond of that (Capitals) organization and team. That’s her home.”

WNBA training camp is expected to open in April. A spokesman said the WNBA would release its 2013 schedule in January. Agler said it was too early to determine how Jackson’s rehabilitation period and desire to give her body ample time to completely recover would effect the WNBA season.

“It’s a little bit premature to say right now,” Agler said via phone from his home in Ohio. “I don’t think there’s any question that we and she both would like for her to get healthy, No. 1, and and play this season. But at the same time, I don’t know if we’re in position to say one way or the other. Everybody seems to be optimistic. But I think it’s just a little bit premature to really know one way or the other. Everybody is just focused on her just getting healthy.”

Jackson, the all-time leader for points scored in Olympic play, elaborated Friday regarding a comeback after surgery. She was described as upbeat when she spoke with the Canberra Times. The newspaper also covers her WNBL team. Jackson, who’ll be 32 in May, told reporter Chris Dutton she wanted to be certain she’s completely healthy when she returns to playing basketball because, ”I don’t want to let anyone down.”

“It’s been a bugger and it’s been frustrating, but I want to comeback and help Canberra win a championship,” Jackson said.

”There’s nowhere else I would rather be playing in the world … but injuries happen in sport.

”Canberra and Seattle got the short end of the stick here. But you can’t blame anyone because no one could figure out what [the injury] was.

”Absolutely there’s an option for me to [play next season], but I’m not willing to make any decisions until I know what’s right for me.”

In an exit interview with the Seattle Times following the Storm’s 2012 season, Jackson was blunt regarding returning to the WNBA in 2013. She’s under contract for one more season with the Storm and said she would retire her WNBA career in Seattle. Jackson declined opportunities to play elsewhere in the states since being drafted No. 1 overall by the Storm in 2001.

Q: And you feel confident you’ll be back next season? You are under contract.

Jackson: Yep.

Jackson denied requests by the Seattle Times to speak about her rehabilitation process. Her agent, John Elliott, said via email that “Lauren is unavailable for comment or interview at this point.” She did speak about possible hamstring surgery following the Storm season, a first-round playoff loss to Minnesota.

Comments | More in Olympics, Storm, WNBA | Topics: Brian Agler, Lauren Jackson


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