A terrible start to the season just got exponentially worse for the Storm, who will lose star point guard Sue Bird for significant time due to a knee injury.
The Seattle Times confirmed the injury, which was first reported by High Post Hoops.
Bird, an 11-time WNBA All-Star and the league’s oldest player at 38, is expected to miss 8-10 weeks.
An early return would bring her back in late July after about 20 games in the 34-game season. And a late return means Bird might return in early August after missing roughly 23 games.
There’s early speculation around the league that Bird might just miss the entire season. She sat out the 2003 season after having a cyst removed from her left knee.
Losing Bird is another devastating blow to the 2018 WNBA champions, still coming to grips with the absence of reigning league MVP Breanna Stewart, who is out for the season after tearing her Achilles tendon.
Additionally, coach Dan Hughes’ availability for Saturday’s season opener against Phoenix is uncertain after he underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor.
Despite her advanced age, Bird had one of her best seasons in 2018 while averaging a career-high 7.1 assists. She also had personal bests in shooting from the field (46.6 percent) and three-pointers (44.8).
Bird averaged 10.1 points, which ranked third on the team, and 1.1 steals while starting in 31 of 34 regular-season games.
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