Bird Practices, Will Start

Kevin Pelton, | Oct. 5, 2004

Bird played two games against Sacramento before having surgery.
Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty
A day after having surgery on her broken nose, Seattle Storm point guard Sue Bird returned to the court for the Storm's pre-game shootaround Tuesday morning.

"I'm good to go," Bird said afterwards. The Storm takes on the Sacramento Monarchs tonight at KeyArena in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, with the winner advancing to take on the Connecticut Sun in the WNBA Finals. Bird appeared entirely unaffected by the surgery.

"She looks good," said Storm Coach Anne Donovan. "Not much swelling, no more black and blue. She looks great."

Donovan will start Bird and said she will play her typical 30-plus minutes, "unless she limits herself."

"I cannot put into words what it means to have her out here," Donovan said. "She missed a practice yesterday, missed a film session, that's it. Through all this broken nose, you would expect a whole lot more than missing one film session and one practice. Her leadership is by example; what she's doing now, she refuses to quit, make any excuses or have any kind of downtime. This is do or die and she realizes that, so everybody's trying to follow her example."

The protective face mask Bird is wearing is not an issue with the cast, or at least not more so than before the surgery.

"When they first made the mask, they made it with room for a cast," Bird explained.