Jackson to miss 2013 WNBA season

Jackson to miss 2013 WNBA season

Australian Opal and international basketball superstar Lauren Jackson has confirmed she will not return to the United States to play in the upcoming 2013 Women’s National Basketball Association season.

Jackson’s WNBA club, the Seattle Storm, today announced she would sit the 2013 season out and remain in Australia to continue rehabilitation for her ongoing hamstring injury.

Following a recent post-operative review, Jackson is expected to make a full recovery. However, as a result of the injury, she has also been unable to take the court for the Canberra Capitals during the 2012/13 WNBL season.

She will remain under contract to play for the Storm during the 2014 WNBA season, and has reiterated her intent to play with the team during that season.

Jackson thanked the Storm for their continued support since 2001, indicating that she had made the decision now to give the team the best possible opportunity to prepare for the upcoming season.

“I’m so pleased with the medical view that I will make a full recovery, but I know I have to be patient and not rush the process,” Ms Jackson said.

“My main and only focus at the moment is to get back to my physical best through fitness, strength and skills.

“After that, I’ll look at my options and an on court plan that best suits me for the future as I want to play on for some time yet.”

Basketball Australia’s Chief Executive Officer Kristina Keneally said BA stood behind Lauren’s decision, and would support her through the rehabilitation process however necessary.

“Lauren is one of the biggest names in our sport and an asset to basketball worldwide, so I’ve got no doubt fans both here and in the United States are eager to see her back in action,” Ms Keneally said.

“But it makes sense for her to take the advice of her medical team and put her body first – her health and well-being are rightly top priority here.

“We want to ensure that Lauren’s recovery is thorough and every precautionary measure is taken in order to get her back to playing at an elite level for a sustainable period of time.”

Jackson started 2012 with a gruelling session in Spain playing for Ros Casares Valencia in the Spanish League Championship and the 2012 Euroleague.

Despite sustaining her hamstring injury while playing with the Australian Opals in the Czech Republic last June, Jackson went on to play with the team during the Farewell Series in Melbourne and then the 2012 London Olympics, where the Opals took bronze.

Following the Olympics, Jackson also returned to the US to play with the Storm for the remainder of the 2012 WNBA season, before returning to Canberra to assess the extent of her injury.

Jackson’s hamstring injury did not respond to a range of treatments over several months and in the end required surgery which revealed several problems, later corrected by Dr David Young in Melbourne.

Lauren has commenced a light rehabilitation program and with continued improvement, expects to be running in the next few weeks.

Lauren Jackson will be available for comment at 12:00PM AEDT at The Tradies, Dickson ACT.