The shock and disappointment of a unexpected ending to the season for the Seattle Storm is beginning to wear off, but the team didn’t stop making news on Wednesday.
Kevin Pelton of stormbasketball.com is reporting that all-star point guard Sue Bird is considering hip surgery to repair a slightly torn hip labrum. Bird told reporters at Wednesday’s season exit interviews that she was first diagnosed with the injury in November of last year. Surgery was not recommended for Bird at the time, though she was told that would be the only remedy to improve her condition.
Bird now has a break in her schedule before she has to report to her overseas team, UMMC Ekaterinburg in January and is considering surgery in the during the time off.
“As most players mature, they figure out ways they can manage and stay on top of their game,” Storm head coach Brian Agler said in a release by the team. “A lot of times you don’t notice it in their play, but the ones that are around her day-to-day know she was dealing with some of this.”
Bird said the biggest problem is her lateral movement.
“The hardest part was on defense — moving laterally,” Bird said. “I can’t really stretch my legs out. As an athlete, you definitely compensate and find ways to avoid what hurts. I was able to do that. Did I have some discomfort, some pain? Yeah, but it didn’t hinder me in any real way.”
Bird’s injury is the same labrum that Storm center Lauren Jackson had surgery on earlier in the 2011 season, but the two injuries are different. Bird’s injury is due to wear and tear over a long professional career, while Jackson’s was an acute instance suffered in an early season game against the Tulsa Shock.
Jackson had surgery and missed 21 games this season for the Storm.