Seattle Storm point guard Sue Bird will undergo surgery on her right knee this spring — date undetermined — and will miss the entire WNBA season, the team’s head coach and general manager, Brian Agler, announced Tuesday.
Bird, who completed her 11th season with the Storm last year, will have surgery to address a cyst that was discovered near the end of 2012. Estimated rehabilitation time is six months.
Following the initial recovery, Bird will spend the summer in Seattle with her Storm teammates.
The cyst was discovered by Dr. Michael Joyce, her physician at the University of Connecticut, prior to her departure for Russia for winter basketball. Because Bird is not experiencing pain in, she will continue her overseas commitment with UMMC Ekaterinburg.
“We support the decision to address the issue with Sue’s knee now,” Agler said. “It is important for us all to take a long-term view in situations like this. We want Sue to return to full health and be healthy enough to play in 2014 and for many more seasons with the Storm. We are focused on putting our team together and look forward to another competitive WNBA season.”
The Storm will also be without All-Star forward Lauren Jackson in 2013. She will remain in Australia to recover from a hamstring injury.
“It is with great disappointment I share that I have developed a cyst in my right knee and this spring, I will be undergoing preventative surgery,” Bird said. “The doctors feel very strongly that if I take care of this as soon as I complete my current tour in Europe, it will ward off future debilitating consequences.”
Named as one of the WNBA’s Top 15 Players of all-time, Bird, with Jackson, led the Storm to titles in 2004 and 2010. She made seven All-Star appearances and is a four-time All- WNBA first-team selection.
The Storm recently signed guards Temeka Johnson and Noelle Quinn and forward Nakia Sanford. Training camp invitations have been extended to Alysha Clark, Chay Shegog and Cierra Bravard. In addition to Bird and Jackson, Ann Wauters will also not play the 2013 season.
Storm training camp begins May 5.
The Storm opens the 2013 season on the road, at Los Angeles, May 26. The home opener is June 2 versus Phoenix.