Out-Of-Action Jackson

11.01.2011

EuroLeague Women

15. Lauren Jackson (Sparta&K M. R. Vidnoje)
Lauren Jackson averaged 17.3 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots per game in EuroLeague Women this season

Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje superstar Lauren Jackson has returned home to Australia to receive treatment for an acute Achilles tendon injury and will be out of action for up to three months.

The 29-year-old was averaging 17.3 points and 8.4 rebounds per game for Sparta&K, the four-time defending champions of the EuroLeague Women.

The veteran is hoping to make it back and play at the Final Four in April if Sparta&K are able to make it that far in the competition.

"It is certainly a serious injury, and we will be working to ensure that she gets it right so that she can continue her illustrious career," Basketball Australia chief executive Larry Sengstock said.

Jackson hurt her Achilles tendon back in December.

While home in Australia for the winter break, she had an MRI.

The scan results, however, weren't immediately known.

The power forward/center flew back to Russia to resume the season and tried to take part in a Sparta&K practice.

In an interview with AAP that has appeared on her website, www.laurenjackson.org, Jackson said of the training session: "I couldn't move, the swelling was very obvious and the pain was just a little bit too painful.

"That's when I got home to all these messages and emails from people back in Australia who had seen the scans and said 'you need to come back (to Australia) and start your rehab right away'."

Jackson believes her teammates will be able to continue to win games, especially with Sue Bird having rejoined the team.

Bird has been on all four of her Sparta&K's title-winning sides in Europe but took a long break after winning a gold medal with Team USA at the FIBA World Championship for Women.

They are 5-3 and in second place in Group C behind Halcon Avenida.

"I'll be back there before they know it," Jackson promised.

"I am going to be missing a lot of basketball and that is really disappointing ... but when your body says stop, you have to listen.

"It's especially disappointing because as a team we've just got our point guard, and my best friend, Sue Bird over there.

"She hadn't been over there prior to Christmas and I think with her we would've been pretty amazing."

Sengstock believes Jackson is in good hands at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).

"She is getting treatment at the AIS where some of the best sports medical experts are based and who are also in direct contact with our Australian basketball team doctors," he said.

"Once we have more information, she will be able to make a decision about her short-term future."

Sparta&K are travelling to France to take on Tarbes on Thursday.


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