Storm forward Lauren Jackson (pictured right) is questioning whether she’ll appear in the All-Star game on Saturday due to a left Achilles strain. Jackson, who received the third-most votes in fan balloting (88,685), suffered the injury on Wednesday in a loss to Detroit.
Jackson missed her team’s winning road trip to Sacramento on Friday and is questionable to play on Sunday against Minnesota (9-6). She remained in Seattle, working with a foot specialist and icing the injury. At a light practice today, Jackson shot some baskets, ran, and was on the elliptical to test the injury.
If unable to play, C Janell Burse will start for the Storm (9-6).
Early in discussions, Jackson is wondering about the midseason classic because it has no factor on the season and it’s not really a break due to the WNBA’s compacted schedule this season. The Storm has one of the better schedules around the All-Star game, playing Wednesday and not again until a road game in San Antonio on Tuesday.
Six teams play on Thursday while four play Sunday, the day after the All-Star game.
“With every game counting in this league, I’m not going to push myself to fly seven hours and play in the All-Star game, especially with something going on like this,” said Jackson of the game, which has only been played in the Western time zone once (2000). “I don’t know what’s going to happen and I’ll probably talk to Brian [Agler] a little bit later, but it has definitely been on my mind.
“With an Achilles or ankle, you just don’t want to mess with it. You don’t want to do anything to make it worse. Especially now, in the middle of the season.”
Storm coach Brian Agler also has been thinking about Jackson’s future, saying that everything is being evaluated in the best interest of Jackson’s health. But no decisions have been made.
With guard Sue Bird and F Swin Cash, Seattle has three All-Stars for the first time in the franchise’s 10-year history. And missing the illustrious game isn’t unheard of. The leading vote-getter in 2007, Bird watched the game from Seattle after having minor knee surgery.
“I’m definitely going to try to get out there as soon as I can,” said Jackson, who is the Storm’s leading scorer (18.9). “But when it comes to the All-Star game and all of that stuff, I’m not stressing it. I’m focused on the Storm right now.”