The Seattle Storm have lost standout center Lauren Jackson for the 2014 WNBA season.
Jackson underwent surgery Monday on her right knee and left Achilles tendon, and the Storm announced Wednesday she would not return to Seattle for the 2014 season.
“I’m so sad that I can’t play this year in Seattle,” Jackson said in a press release. “This injury took me by surprise and I’m just coming to grips with the severity of it.”
Jackson competed with the WCBA’s Heilongjiang in Harbin, China, during the 2013 WNBA offseason and returned to Australia to undergo surgery 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 in the press release. “Thank you to the fans for the support you have given me on social media. Your words mean a lot to me. Good luck to the team and the fans for a great season.”
Jackson missed the entire 2013 season because of a hamstring injury. She played nine games for the Storm in 2012 and averaged 10.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 18.6 minutes per game.
Jackson, who has competed in 12 WNBA season, all with the Storm, holds career averages of 18.9 points per game, 7.7 rebounds per game and 32.0 minutes per game.
“Lauren has had a very difficult stretch of injuries over the past three years,” Storm head coach and general manager Brian Agler said in the press release. “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.”
Drafted first overall by Seattle in the 2001 WNBA Draft, Jackson is a seven-time WNBA All-Star and two-time WNBA champion with the Storm, in 2004 and 2010.
A three-time WNBA MVP, Jackson holds franchise records in 10 categories, including: minutes (10,131), points (6,007), rebounds (2,447), field goals (2,090), field-attempts (4,545), free throws (1,391), free-throw attempts (1,391), offensive rebounds (709), defensive rebounds (1,738) and blocked shots, (586).
The Storm open the 2014 WNBA season May 16 at home against Los Angeles.