Jackson Misses Practice, Feels Okay

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Kevin Pelton, storm.wnba.com | July 20, 2005
After spraining her right ankle late in Tuesday's 87-78 win over the New York Liberty, Seattle Storm forward Lauren Jackson sat out of Wednesday's practice. Afterwards, however, she pronounced herself relatively fit to the media.

"I feel okay," Jackson said. "I'm just focused on trying to get my foot working again. I haven't really got much movement. (I'm doing) Ice and all those things, so it's back to the start, back to how I was in February."

The good news for the Storm is that the team has three days off before returning to the court Saturday against the Detroit Pistons (1:00 p.m., ABC, ). The team will take tomorrow off and hopes to have Jackson available for Friday's return to the practice court.

"There's all aspects of the ankle that are sprained, but we feel hopeful that Saturday she'll be ready, which is good news, obviously."
David Sherman/NBAE/Getty
"I think it's very painful for her," said Storm Coach Anne Donovan. "I think she's got confidence in our medical staff that we're going to get her through it, but she did it pretty good. There's all aspects of the ankle that are sprained, but we feel hopeful that Saturday she'll be ready, which is good news, obviously."

Jackson compared the feeling to where her ankle was in February, when she was returning from off-season surgery on the same ankle. She said this injury was "a little bit worse" than when she rolled the right ankle in practice early in the season. But it's not as severe as her having to be helped off the floor last night might have made it seem.

"I was a bit in shock, I think," Jackson explained. "I was fine. It's just one of those things."

When Jackson sprained her ankle in May, an injury which did not cause her to miss any games, she described a somewhat similar reaction.

"I was down thinking, 'It's my ankle, my ankle, my ankle. Compose myself,'" Jackson said then.

After Jackson left the court, the Storm allowed New York to go on a 13-0 run before recovering to finish off the Liberty. Donovan feels her team needs to learn to play better without the MVP candidate.

"It's the ups and downs of a professional sports team," Donovan said. "You're going to face it. Just like we had to learn how to play without Sue (Bird), we have to learn to play without Lauren or without Betty (Lennox). It's how you respond in times of adversity that really determines what kind of team you are. I feel really good about the character and how we're going as a team together and this is just one more test."

Donovan Excited About Weiss

New Seattle SuperSonics Coach Bob Weiss, hired Monday, has few bigger fans than Donovan, who is excited the smooth working relationship the Storm's coaching staff has had with their Sonics counterparts will continue.

"It's big," said Donovan. "You better believe we were looking at that [the coaching search] really closely. The relationship between the NBA side and the WNBA side is so important, and that's one reason why this has been such a great fit from me. From (Chairman) Howard Schultz and (President and CEO) Wally Walker all the way down, the message is clear: We're two teams, one big family.

"Bob is dynamite, as Nate (McMillan) was, in always understanding our schedule and working together with us. It's not an 'Ours first and yours second,' philosophy, it really is about working together to make it right. Bob was a part of that with Nate's staff and he'll continue to be. It's a relief for us. There are some NBA coaches that don't have that philosophy. They look at the WNBA sister teams a little differently. I'm happy for Bob. He's a great guy that will do great things here, and it also helps us."

Donovan has seen both sides of the relationship with NBA teams during her WNBA career, and knows she's lucky to have the complete support of the Sonics.

"It's special," she said. "I've been in different work environments where I've had it and I didn't have it, and it is very difficult when you don't have it. Not so much from the things you go through on a daily basis but from the intangible feelings that people have around the WNBA team - if they really embrace it, if they feel good about it, if they respect it. That's just an attitude it's nice to have in Seattle."

  • Forward Alicia Thompson, who was dressed for last night's game but did not see any action with a lower-back/SI joint injury, joined Jackson on the sidelines during practice. She is also expected to return to practice Friday.