MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Lauren Jackson has undergone surgery in Australia on her knee and Achilles tendon putting her status for the upcoming WNBA season with the Seattle Storm in question.
Basketball Australia said in a statement Tuesday that Jackson is in recovery following surgery in Melbourne to repair a torn meniscus in her right knee and an ongoing problem in her left Achilles tendon.
BA said orthopedic surgeon Dr. David Young has advised Jackson will require a 4 month recovery program following the surgery which he believes has successfully resolved both injuries.
Jackson, 32, missed the entire 2013 WNBA season after undergoing surgery on her right hamstring in January 2013 for a chronic injury.
Jackson's manager, John Elliot, told the Australian Associated Press she will be unavailable for the start of the WNBA season and unlikely to train on court with the Storm until early June, or play until July.
"Seattle will have to make that decision, but I can't see her getting back to Seattle in the short term," he said. "If they've got to replace her because she can't make May 16, they might go out and buy another person to replace her."
Elliot acknowledged the Storm would have to consider their options
"We'll just have to see how they want to play it and all that, but she's totally committed to the Opals program," he said, referring to Australia's national team.
While Jackson's immediate WNBA future is in doubt, Basketball Australia expects the forward to be available to join the national team by July for its preparations ahead of the world championship in Turkey starting Sept. 27.
"Lauren has committed to the Opals preparation for this year's World Championships," Australia coach Brendan Joyce said in the BA statement. "She'll have some time to prepare in some games in July on a tour of Japan and then again in August."
Jackson played for Heilongjiang in the Women's Chinese Basketball Association earlier this year where she averaged 22 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game. She is also contracted to Australian team the Canberra Capitals for the next two WNBL seasons.
Joyce said he has every reason to expect Jackson will make a full recovery from her surgery.
"Dr. Young was really happy with how she went. He said she could play until she's 40," Joyce said. "It's a shame for her that she has this recovery period, but it's better for her to be right for the real deal at the World Championships."