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Originally published May 24, 2013 at 7:23 PM | Page modified May 24, 2013 at 7:47 PM

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Lauren Jackson far removed but still has Seattle Storm on her mind

Jackson, the team's all-time leading scorer, is in her hometown of Albury, Australia, working with a personal trainer after hamstring surgery in January.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Jackson in 2012

Games: 9

PPG: 10.2

RPG: 5.6

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An Australian native, Storm center Lauren Jackson is already an ocean way. One click on her WNBA team's website made the distance feel farther.

"I saw they were at Stormin' the Lake," Jackson said of photos from the annual meet-and-greet with fans at Green Lake. "I was like, aw, I was on that team a couple of years ago doing the water-balloon toss."

Jackson, the team's all-time leading scorer (18.9 points), is in her hometown of Albury working with a personal trainer after hamstring surgery in January. She will miss the 2013 season, a first since being drafted by Seattle in 2001.

It's not Jackson's first extensive absence here. She played in only nine games in 2012 due to Olympic obligations and the hamstring injury. The Storm is 37-25 overall without Jackson since coach and general manager Brian Agler was hired in 2008.

Technically Jackson, 32, can play this summer. She's pain-free but restricted by physicians to only shooting when on the court. She anticipates doing on-court drills in July, after fully regaining her strength.

Considering the progress, Jackson is contemplating participating in the Opals' training for the FIBA Oceania Championship in Auckland, New Zealand, in mid-August. It's a qualifier for the 2016 Olympics.

"I haven't made any decisions and it will probably linger into June a bit," Jackson said via phone from Australia. "The only real commitment is the WNBA next year. In saying that, I could very well go play anyplace."

Unlike fellow Storm All-Star Sue Bird, out due to knee surgery, Jackson is doubtful she'll return to Seattle this summer. She keeps track of the team through updates from Tanisha Wright and Camille Little.

"As hard as it is to know that the world is going on without me playing in Seattle, I think this is the best thing for my body," Jackson said.

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