Storm's Lauren Jackson out at least three weeks with labral tear
Three-time MVP was injured during Tuesday's game at Tulsa
Seattle Times staff reporter
Seattle @ Connecticut, 4:30 p.m.
Three-time MVP Lauren Jackson will be out a minimum of three weeks with a labral tear in her left hip.
The injury occurred in the opening half of a win against Tulsa on Tuesday. Jackson, 30, believed she locked legs with fellow Australian Liz Cambage and heard a pop. Jackson remained in the game, but was removed with 5:50 remaining in the second quarter.
The 6-foot-6 center underwent two days of evaluations before the diagnosis was made. Doctors told Storm president and CEO Karen Bryant that the injury is typical in athletes and rest could be the antidote. Jackson will likely miss the team's White House visit on Wednesday and upcoming three-game road trip.
After a week of rest, Jackson could gradually return to the court. If not healed, surgery could be required. That could take 12 weeks to rehabilitate.
"Injuries have just been a part of my career," said Jackson, who missed the 2008 (ankle) and 2009 (back) postseasons due to injuries along with Achilles surgery this offseason. "It's really disappointing. I've got to try to do everything I can to get my body healed so that I don't have to go through surgery, again. ... I feel positive like everybody else does."
Storm physicians have been in communication with Basketball Australia, but Jackson said her health for the London Games didn't have a higher priority than the 2011 WNBA season. She will miss the beginning of the 2012 Storm season to prepare and participate in the Olympics.
"Everyone in Australia is in agreement with the doctors here," Jackson said. "My initial reaction is that I want to get back on court as soon as possible. I've always been like that. I want to get back here (playing for Seattle)."
Jackson had a cortisone shot in her left leg earlier this month. During this week's evaluations, doctors also found an acute tear in her thigh near the hip. That injury is unrelated to the labral injury.
Doctors told Bryant that the hip injury didn't derive from overcompensating from her offseason surgery.
The team is 19-23 all-time without Jackson in the lineup. Forward Le'coe Willingham started for Jackson on Friday, but Agler is going to evaluate his rotation each game.
The organization could also make a roster move.
"I don't like doing it just to do, to me that's a panic state," Agler said. "I'm sad for Lauren. She was just starting to get back into shape and then this happens. I feel bad for her, but I don't feel bad for ourselves."
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or email@example.com
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