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Friday, May 26, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Storm Notes: Burse is back, despite injury

Seattle Times staff reporter

PHOENIX — Janell Burse made her 2006 debut Thursday, returning to the Storm's starting lineup against the Phoenix Mercury.

Burse, a 6-foot-4 center, missed the past two games with a labrum tear in her left shoulder. She suffered the injury while grabbing a rebound during an April 5 game in Prague.

Burse returned during training camp, but suffered another setback. She said she's not 100 percent healthy and that there is a twinge of pain at times when she is playing.

Burse, a six-year veteran, will not undergo surgery until after the season, however.

"It has to be done if I ever want it to feel normal again," she said.

Mercury guard out with hurt hamstring

The Mercury suffered a hit when MRI results revealed that guard Kelly Miller will be out at least two weeks with a tear in her right hamstring.

New coach Paul Westhead, who runs a fast-paced offensive style dubbed "Paul Ball," said Miller was his best option at getting the system going.

Westhead turned to veteran guard Tamicha Jackson to replace Miller against the Storm.

Notes

• The Mercury and Storm are very familiar with each other. The two teams include several Connecticut alums: the Storm's Sue Bird and Barbara Turner and the Mercury's Ann Strother and Diana Taurasi. Then there are the former Storm players, centers Kamila Vodichkova and Mandisa Stevenson.

Game at a glance

Player of the game: Looking to redeem herself after a disappointing game against Houston, when she scored just nine points, Storm forward Lauren Jackson scored freely against Phoenix's weak interior defense, finishing with a career-high 35 points and nine rebounds.

Reserve of the game: Still racking up the minutes, forward Wendy Palmer was in her expected reserve role and playing her signature game, finishing with 10 points and seven rebounds in 23 minutes.

Digits: The Storm had three opportunities to surpass its franchise-record 95 points scored in a home win against Connecticut in June 2005, but couldn't connect on any of its attempts in the waning minutes. Of course, the starters were on the bench.

Next: At Sacramento, Wednesday, 7 p.m., Arco Arena.

Jayda Evans

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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