Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Bird Practices; Jackson to Miss Thursday's Game

The Storm got good news and bad news on the injury front at Wednesday's practice.

Sue Bird, who had missed two days of practice because of a right quad contusion and swelling in her left knee, was able to practice. An MRI on Bird's left knee was negative, but she wore a thin white sleeve on the knee. Bird did not participate in the shooting drill that ended practice, instead icing the knee on the sideline.

Bird said afterwards that she first experienced swelling Sunday morning, and that it was something of a concern because she didn't have an explanation as to why. Also, this is the knee that Bird has had surgery on twice (she tore her left ACL in college and had microfracture surgery on the same knee after the 2003 WNBA season).

An MRI was negative and Bird is icing the knee nearly constantly to get any swelling out and reduce the discomfort. She hopes to play against the Monarchs, but will know more after this afternoon's flight to Sacramento.

Bird also said she'll have to have another MRI at some point when a game is not so near so that doctors can inject dye into the knee to get a better look at it.

Jackson is still not feeling well and is undergoing further evaluation. For precautionary reasons, she will not travel to Sacramento with the Storm and is out of tomorrow's game.

"We're just keeping her here with the doctors and trying to get her well," said Storm Head Coach Anne Donovan.

The Storm is in much better position to play without Jackson this season than last year, when the team went 1-3 when Jackson did not play. Two of those games came under similar circumstances, where Jackson was unexpectedly unavailable. Seattle won at Los Angeles last June when Jackson did not travel but lost to Sacramento on July 18 when plantar fasciitis kept her out (that was also the day of the sale of the Sonics & Storm).

Although Donovan was noncommittal, Wendy Palmer will likely step into Jackson's starting position, with Tye'sha Fluker and Ashley Robinson available as reserve posts. Shyra Ely could be an option as well. Sacramento, which just lost DeMya Walker to a season-ending knee injury, has been playing a lot of smallball under former Storm assistant Jenny Boucek. 6-3 Nicole Powell, usually a small forward, has seen extensive action at power forward.

Katie Gearlds really shot the ball well when the Storm worked against the practice squad. That will translate into a game sooner than later, and the couple of baskets Katie had at the end of last Saturday's loss might have helped that process.


Anonymous said...

THE TEAM IS IN MUCH BETTER SHAPE THAN LAST YEAR TO PLAY WITHOUT JACKSON?????? Are you kidding me?? Have you seen this team play??? Have you seen our collective numbers if you take LJ out of the box score?? Not feeling well??? Ink filled MRI's?? I'm starting to get really nervous over here!! It's a very short season and I'm hoping we are not "sugar coating" some real issues!

Kevin Pelton said...

Did you see the numbers without LJ last year? It was the biggest difference in the league.

The perimeter reserves have struggled, but Wendy Palmer and Ashley Robinson have both done well in limited minutes.

Anonymous said...

LJ is the MVP of the WNBA and we definately cannot afford to have her miss more than this game. Maybe Betty, Jannell and Izzy can step up and provide us the offensive punch we will need if we are to be a serious contender for the title.

Anonymous said...

i believe the starting line-up is too offensively minded. I can't really put it into words, but all the players are "too" capable of scoring.