Storm Update: Is Jackson ready to play?

  • Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
  • Saturday, August 20, 2011 12:01am
  • Sports

Today’s game
Opponent: New York Liberty
When: 7 p.m.
Where: KeyArena
TV: None
Radio: KPTK 1090 AM

Jackson ready to play?
The Seattle Storm have lost four of their past five games. In their last outing, they blew an 18-point lead to the Phoenix Mercury, losing 81-79.

But that isn’t what most Storm fans have on their minds right now.

The buzz started before Tuesday’s loss to Phoenix when center and reigning WNBA Most Valuable Player Lauren Jackson was in uniform and warmed up with the team, though she did not play. After suffering a torn labrum in her hip on June 21, it appears Jackson is on the brink of a return to the Storm.

If doctors give her the go-ahead, Jackson could be in the lineup tonight against the Liberty.

“She’s moving very well,” Storm head coach Brian Agler said on the Storm’s website. “She’s been working at it. She’s done more than just rehab the hip. She’s really gone back to work in terms of getting in shape and working on her skills. She’s shot the ball a lot the last three or four weeks. It’s been good.”

Without question the Storm need Jackson — they have plummeted to fourth place in the Western Conference with a 13-12 record and the Los Angeles Sparks are inching closer to that final playoff spot with a 10-14 record. The Sparks, recently welcomed back their star, Candace Parker, who missed a month and a half with a torn meniscus in her right knee.

Jackson scored 15 points in the Storm’s season-opening victory over the Mercury, but averaged just 7.7 points in her next four games before suffering her injury against Tulsa.

“I sense Lauren being hungrier now than she was maybe earlier in the year,” Agler said. “Sometimes, negative things get your attention. She went through it. Something was taken away from her. Now she’s got the opportunity to get it back and I think she wants to take full advantage of it.”

The Storm will have a challenge in slowing down New York’s Cappie Pondexter, who has been hot of late. Pondexter is averaging 18.3 points per game and 27.6 over her past three outings.

The Liberty have lost four of their past five on the road, while the Storm are 9-2 on their home floor, but looking to rebound from a 92-63 loss to Atlanta at home last Saturday. It was the second-worst home defeat in Storm history.

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