She underwent surgery on her right knee last week, an injury suffered while playing in China in 2014, which caused her to miss the ensuing WNBA season.
Lauren Jackson will not play the 2015 WNBA season, the Storm announced Tuesday. Jackson, who turned 34 on Monday, last played for Seattle in 2012.
Injuries have derailed Jackson’s career. She underwent surgery on her right knee last week, an injury suffered while playing in China in 2014, which caused her to miss the ensuing WNBA season.
“We are aware that Lauren has undergone another knee surgery and is currently recovering,” read a statement from the Storm. “Lauren’s health and recovery remains the top priority as we continue the dialogue regarding her future in Seattle. We know at this time Lauren will not compete in the 2015 WNBA season. We continue to wish Lauren all the best as she recovers and begins rehab.”
Jackson told The Seattle Times in a 2014 interview that doctors believe the root of her injuries was a right labrum tear suffered in 2012 while leading Spain to a EuroLeague championship. She did not undergo surgery, however. She competed in the London Olympics for her native Australia and honored her Storm contract.
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She said she regrets playing for the Storm in 2012, when she appeared in nine regular-season games and the first round of the playoffs. She missed the 2013 WNBA season because of a right-hamstring injury.
Right-hip surgery in September was supposed to get Jackson back on the court by November. Instead, she’s had multiple follow-up surgeries on her right knee.
“I’m sure people doubt whether I can make a full comeback, but I can’t think like that,” Jackson said after her hip surgery. “I know I have potential, and I want to go out on a good note. I don’t have anything to prove. I’ve just had too good of a career there (Seattle) to let that fall by the wayside.”
Jackson, a 6-foot-6 center, has appeared in only 22 WNBA games the past five years. She’s a three-time league MVP and two-time WNBA champion, earning the Finals MVP award during Seattle’s 2010 title run.
Jackson’s agents said last week’s knee procedure was done with the hope that it would help extend her career. She hopes to compete in the 2016 Olympics. Jackson’s leg is in a cast for four weeks, and she will be evaluated next month.
The final year of Jackson’s Storm contract was suspended in 2013 and dissolved under the new collective-bargaining agreement in 2014. Seattle retains Jackson’s rights.