Dan Hughes is ready to return and the Storm coach will be back on the sidelines Friday when Seattle hosts the Los Angeles Sparks.

The 64-year-old coach underwent surgery on May 14 to remove a cancerous tumor in his digestive tract and missed the first nine games of the WNBA season.

During his absence, the Storm went 5-4 under interim coach Gary Kloppenburg.

Hughes has been a vocal participant during practices at Seattle Pacific University’s Royal Brougham Pavilion, but Storm team physician Adam Pourcho didn’t allow him to travel with the squad considering Seattle played seven of its first nine games on the road.

The Storm, which plays home games at Everett’s Angel of the Winds Arena and the University of Washington’s Alaska Airlines Arena this season while KeyArena is under renovation, is at home for 11 of its next 15 games.

“I am thankful for the entire Swedish Medical team’s exceptional care through this process,” Hughes said in a statement released by the team. “I am also grateful to Gary Kloppenburg and the Storm coaching staff who guided our team through a grueling stretch of the schedule with finesse.


“Our team has demonstrated incredible resilience and we will continue to fight each and every game.”

Last season, Hughes guided the Storm to a league-best 26-8 record and a WNBA championship in his first year in Seattle.

It was his first title after 16 seasons as a head coach in the WNBA.


— Second-year guard Jordin Canada, who missed the previous game due to a bone bruise in her left knee, did not practice Wednesday. Kloppenburg said “she should return shortly,” but was uncertain if Canada would be available on Friday.