Jackson Undergoes Successful Surgery

Kevin Pelton, storm.wnba.com | Oct. 28, 2004
Seattle Storm forward Lauren Jackson underwent successful surgery on her right ankle yesterday in her native Australia.

Jackson will not play for the Capitals following her surgery.
Jeff Reinking/NBAE/Getty
Jackson, who led the WNBA in scoring for the second straight year, underwent arthroscopic surgery on her right ankle to remove bone spurs. She also received lateral ankle ligament reconstruction. She will recuperate with her family in Albury.

Jackson's ankle became a serious concern during this summer's Olympics, when she required two cortisone shots to play through pain for the Australian "Price Attack" Opals as they claimed the silver medal in Athens. Following the Olympics, Jackson was placed on the injured list and missed three games with a related right mid-foot sprain.

Following the Storm winning the WNBA Championship earlier this month, Jackson had announced plans to undergo surgery. After consulting with doctors for both the Storm and the Opals, she elected to have the surgery performed.

"Given the level I play at and with basketball being such a high energy sport, injuries are an unfortunate aspect of my craft," Jackson said in a statement issued by her agent. "Playing basketball is what I am passionate about, so this will ensure I am giving my body every opportunity to enjoy longevity in the sport."

Jackson is expected to be sidelined for at least three months, ruling her out of the Australian WNBL season, which concludes January 30. WNBL rules require players to play in at least 10 regular-season games to qualify for the playoffs, meaning Jackson would have had to return by Nov. 28 to be eligible.

"I understand that this a blow to the current WNBL season and Canberra Capitals fans," Jackson said in the statement, "but rest assured I will be working with the WNBL office on various promotions and upcoming charity events, so I'll definitely be in contact with the fans through the coming season."

Undergoing surgery now ensures Jackson has more than enough time to rehab and be ready to take the court by the time the Storm opens training camp in late April or early May 2005.

"We are glad that Lauren has had the surgery to correct the pain in her foot that bothered her at the end of the season," Storm Head Coach Anne Donovan said. "We realize it was something that she needed done and we wish her a speedy recovery in the comforts of her home. I will be communicating with her frequently during the offseason to monitor her progress and rehabilitation. I look forward to having a healthy Lauren Jackson in 2005 so that she can maintain her status as one of the game’s greatest players."