SEATTLE - Australian star center Lauren Jackson will miss the entire 2014 Women's NBA season following surgery on her right knee and left Achilles tendon, the Seattle Storm announced on Wednesday.
Jackson, who led the Storm to WNBA crowns in 2004 and 2010, is a three-time league Most Valuable Player who was the top pick by Seattle in the 2001 Women's NBA Draft.
"I'm so sad that I can't play this year in Seattle," Jackson said. "This injury took me by surprise and I'm just coming to grips with the severity of it."
Jackson played in China's women's basketball league with the Heilongjiang of Harbin before returning to Australia for surgery last Monday in Melbourne.
"I want to finish my career in Seattle and I'm going to push to be as healthy as possible to do that," Jackson said.
Jackson missed all of last season due to a hamstring injury and played only nine games for the northwestern US club in 2012, missing the start of the campaign to train with Australia's national team ahead of the 2012 Olympics, where the Opals took a bronze medal.
Jackson has career averages of 18.9 points and 7.7 rebounds a game over 12 WNBA seasons.
"Lauren has had a very difficult stretch of injuries over the past three years," Storm coach and general manager Brian Agler said.
"We all want Lauren to be healthy and compete again for the Storm. Until then, we will move forward, prepare for the upcoming 2014 season and work to put the Storm in position to compete for a championship."
Storm president Karen Bryant spoke with Jackson by telephone while the Aussie star was still in her hospital room and made it clear the Storm will be ready when Jackson is healthy.
"We support her efforts to rehab and return to 100 percent," Bryant said.
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