Sue Bird underwent arthroscopic surgery Thursday on her left knee that will sideline the Storm star indefinitely.

Dr. Michael Joyce performed the surgery at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, Conn.

The 38-year-old point guard said last week she had a “loose bone” the size of a golf ball in her knee that impeded her ability to play and needed to be surgically removed.

“It’s not an acute injury,” Bird said. “So to say that I’m injured in my mind is not accurate. I have what doctors would call a loose body. And by loose, that doesn’t mean it’s moving. It’s just a piece of bone — I guess that I’ve had for 8 to 10 years – that over time has continued to get bigger and bigger.”

“It’s something that I’ve had and it was always like if it doesn’t really bother you, then don’t worry about it. … But something felt wrong. I couldn’t really run, like sprint. I could like jog, but I couldn’t sprint. I had trouble jumping. And mostly it’s because of my flexion. I essentially have something in the back of my knee preventing me from flexing and it affects you in all these different ways.”

In similar cases, typical recovery time requires 8 to 10 weeks. Given that time frame, Bird could return between July 25 and Aug. 8.


It’s also possible that the 18-year-veteran could sit out the entire season for the second time in her career.

In 2013, Joyce surgically removed a cyst from Bird’s left knee on May 9, which kept her out six months and forced her miss the season.

“I’m bummed,” Bird said last week. “What makes the WNBA so great and what makes it challenging sometimes is that it’s a short season.

“So when you have something come up that might keep you out for weeks, months or whatever the case, unfortunately you end up missing what could be the entire season.”

The Storm announced that Bird will return to Seattle when she is cleared to travel, but no timetable was given on when she’ll rejoin the team.

Seattle is 1-1 heading into Friday’s 4:30 p.m. PT game at Atlanta (1-0) without Bird, reigning MVP forward Breanna Stewart, who is out for the season due to an Achilles injury, and coach Dan Hughes, who is on medical leave after having a cancerous tumor removed from his digestive tract.

Citing a need to rest, the Storm won’t play backup guard Sami Whitcomb against the Dream. Forward Alysha Clark, who sat out the first two games, is listed as probable.

Seattle’s wraps up its three-game road trip at 5 p.m. PT Saturday at Chicago before returning home Tuesday to host Minnesota at the Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett.