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Originally published Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 11:51 AM

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Seattle's Bird optimistic after knee surgery

Sue Bird isn't gearing up for the start of the WNBA season for the first time in her 11-year career.

AP Basketball Writer

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Sue Bird isn't gearing up for the start of the WNBA season for the first time in her 11-year career.

The Seattle Storm point guard is recovering from recent left knee surgery that will sideline her for the entire summer season.

Bird had surgery on a cyst in her knee on May 9. She's optimistic her knee will heal in time for her to play in Russia this fall and return to the Storm next spring.

The WNBA All-Star and former UConn player is no stranger to surgeries - it's her fourth in six years. The 32-year-old Bird had her left knee scoped in 2007, right hip labrum repaired in 2011 and the left one done in October. That doesn't even include the surgeries she's had for three broken noses since 2004.

The 17th WNBA season begins this weekend.

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