Friday, June 8, 2007

Jackson Practices, Plans to Play Saturday

The media got a surprise at Friday's Storm practice. After being out all week due to illness, including missing last night's loss at Sacramento, Lauren Jackson returned to the court for practice and it looks like she will play tomorrow when the Storm hosts the Minnesota Lynx (7:00 p.m., 1150 AM KKNW, ).

"Honestly, I feel good," said Jackson. When asked if she'll start, Jackson emphatically responded, "Heck yeah - I better."

Storm Coach Anne Donovan was, typically, a bit more reserved in that regard, saying "it looks good" for Jackson to play against the Lynx.

"We'll still watch her, and if she goes backwards at all, we would change that, but she looks good."

Jackson is looking for privacy with regards to her health, but called the last week "a bit of a scare" and indicated that tests came up negative.

Sue Bird went through practice (skipping only shooting drills) despite a little inevitable swelling in her left knee after the flight. Bird said she was worried about how much she would be able to play during shootaround, but the knee felt better after a lengthy warm-up and some treatement prior to the game.

"I felt better in the game than I have any time in practice the last couple of days," Bird said.

Bird downplayed the role of Jackson's absence in her season-high 21 points, saying it was more about how the Monarchs defend on the perimeter ("equal opportunity" defense, she termed it to laughs, meaning Sacramento doesn't adjust much to opposing personnel). However, her teammate and friend Jackson called it a "good chance for Sue to really get her game going, which she did."

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