Storm center Lauren Jackson will sit out the 2013 WNBA season to recover from a hamstring operation last month. - Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE
The Seattle Storm announced in a press release that Lauren Jackson, its three time MVP center, will sit out the 2013 season to heal from a hamstring operation back in January. In addition, the Storm announced that Ann Wauters will not play in the WNBA this season in order to spend the summer with her family and therefore terminated her contract.
The Storm has seen Jackson sit out substantial parts of the last few seasons, both regular season and/or the playoffs for the 2009, 2011, and 2012 seasons, mostly due to injury though she sat out most of last year because of the Olympics. We haven't seen her miss an entire season to heal from injuries, but unfortunately, that time has come. Because Jackson is sitting out 2013, the Storm has suspended her (that's the technical term, LJ didn't do anything bad) to open a roster spot for another player.
Wauters was signed by the team last season to provide "insurance" for Jackson and she did hold the fort until her return. However, as we noted in our offseason preview, the Seattle Storm has an aging core, so perhaps Ann's departure is not as bad of a blow as it may seem over the long term.
Among the remaining post players in Seattle, forward Camille Little will likely be the go to player in this area for them. Ewelyna Kobryn will presumably be the team's starting center and Tina Thompson should she return will provide backup support. Alysha Clark also figures to get additional minutes to improve on her play from last season where she did have some good moments.
The post players' injuries and departures also put additional pressure on their franchise guard Sue Bird who will likely be the undisputed go to scorer for the team this season.
We all wish Lauren a safe and speedy recovery.
Stay tuned to our storystream as the Storm's offseason unfolds.
UPDATE ON 2/6/13 AT 2:30 PM ET - The WNBA has issued the press release which is here.