Injuries may foil the Storm's plan of replacing an Aussie with an Aussie. Australian guard Jessica Bibby was scheduled to arrive in Seattle...

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Injuries may foil the Storm’s plan of replacing an Aussie with an Aussie.


Australian guard Jessica Bibby was scheduled to arrive in Seattle this week for the start of training camp Monday, but a recurring back injury may lead the Storm to pull its contract offer. Bibby was an early candidate to replace Australian Tully Bevilaqua, who signed with Indiana as a free agent because she was guaranteed to start at point guard.


Bibby, 25, reinjured her back during a workout in Australia and was told she would need about four weeks to heal, according to sources. She had surgery in October 2001 and was told the problem could return in six or seven years.


Bibby was healthy for the Australian Women’s National Basketball League season, helping the Dandenong Rangers win their second consecutive championship. She averaged 13.9 points and 2.1 rebounds as the starting shooting guard. Bibby played one WNBA season, appearing in 17 games with the New York Liberty in 2000.


Storm coach Anne Donovan, who also is the team’s director of player personnel, is aware of Bibby’s situation, and the issue is being negotiated. Donovan planned to have Bibby play a backup role to Finals MVP Betty Lennox and could decide to have Bibby rehabilitate the injury under the team’s care. But that would mean choosing her over a healthy player, such as veteran Adrienne Johnson, 31, who was waived by Connecticut last summer.


Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or jevans@seattletimes.com