Bird becomes latest sidelined star in Seattle

Photo by Joshua Huston/NBAE via Getty Images.
Photo by Joshua Huston/NBAE via Getty Images.

Already down the reigning league MVP, the Seattle Storm announced Tuesday that the team will head into its 2019 title defense without another key piece.

However, its unclear just how long they’ll will be without 11-time All-Star Sue Bird, after the guard undergoes arthroscopic knee surgery to remove a loose body in her left knee. The team declined to give a timetable for her recovery, saying only that she’ll be out indefinitely.

“The most important thing to us is that Sue is healthy and strong,” Storm CEO and GM Alisha Valavanis said in a release. “Based on her feedback and evaluation from her longtime surgeon and our medical team, it was determined the best course of action was a scope. We have confidence this will support Sue’s full recovery and we look forward to her return to the court.”

After undergoing surgery in Connecticut, the 38-year-old will return to Seattle for rehabilitation and “remain an active presence in the Storm locker room,” the team says. Last season, Bird started 31 games, averaging just over 10 points and career-best seven assists per game.

Bird becomes the second starter sidelined for Seattle, just over a month after Breanna Stewart suffered a ruptured right Achilles in the EuroLeague championship game.

The pair of injuries invokes memories of 2013, the last time left knee surgery (to remove a cyst beneath her kneecap) kept Bird out of action, while hamstring surgery ended Lauren Jackson’s season before it began. That team, led by Tina Thompson in her final WNBA season, finished 17-17 and earned the fourth and final playoff spot in the West.