Even though Lauren Jackson is back in the Storm’s lineup following hip surgery, the team continues to monitor how her hip is feeling and will alter her playing time accordingly – possibly even sitting her out entirely.
“How she feels the next day is what we base the next game’s minutes on – her recovery time,” said Storm Head Coach Brian Agler after Wednesday’s light workout. “Today she’s sore, so we’ll have to see how she feels tomorrow. As much as we don’t like to look in the big picture, we have to with her. She’s really sore today. She played a few more minutes last night than she did the first night. After the first game, it took her two days to really get back in the flow. We’ll gauge that tomorrow morning.”
Jackson played just under 22 minutes on Saturday in her first game in two months, then played 25 in last night’s win over San Antonio. If Jackson continues to respond well, her minutes will probably stay around 25 a night for the time being. But Agler is not taking for granted that Jackson will play all because the team does not want to overdo her comeback.
“I could see a scenario where if she doesn’t respond, we don’t play her,” he explained. “It can be that too. It’s not just using her for the moment and forgetting about the future for now. Let’s see how this goes, see how she feels, see how she recovers and then make our decision.”
Which is not to say the Storm does not expect Jackson to play tomorrow when the Tulsa Shock visits KeyArena (7:00 p.m., 1090 AM, Live Access, TIX).
“Right now we feel like she is, but tomorrow could be different,” said Agler. “Tomorrow she could be sore and she might not play. It’s just going to be a day-by-day, hour-by-hour thing.”