Hamstrung Jackson puts faith in surgeon
Lauren Jackson is treated by Tony Ward at the AIS last month. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
He's solved the injury woes of a bevy of AFL stars, and the Canberra Capitals are hopeful Melbourne orthopaedic surgeon David Young can work similar magic with Lauren Jackson.
With her chronic hamstring injury continuing to frustrate, the Opals star headed south on Sunday for a consultation with Young, a hamstring specialist.
Young is employed by the Western Bulldogs and also acts as a consultant to the Australian and Victorian institutes of sport, and Netball Australia.
After an exasperating five months, scans just before Christmas showed a major tear in Jackson's adductor magnus muscle, which she first injured during Olympic preparations in June.
Australian Institute of Sport physiotherapist Tony Ward has overseen much of Jackson's rehabilitation, and said the 31-year-old was still experiencing severe pain.
''Up to a certain level we just can't push past the pain that she's still getting in her rehabilitation, and just looking at why it's not settling down,'' Ward said.
''Ideally a few months ago I would have said by early January she'd be back playing, but we just haven't been able to push past those boundaries to have any ounce of her playing at the moment.
''If we can get rid of that pain it should move forward really quickly, that's the thing that's holding us back.
''We made the plan prior to doing another set of injections just before Christmas that if things hadn't settled down [by now], and they haven't, let's find out if there's anything underlying we've overlooked.''
Ward said Jackson remained unable to run for an extended period without discomfort.
''She had about a five-minute run over Christmas which is OK, but got a bit sore from that,'' he said.
''If you can only run five minutes and get pretty sore, you're going to be in a hell of a lot of pain playing 20 to 30 minutes in a game.
''We're just trying to find out exactly what is causing the pain, given it's continued for so long.''
Ward insisted that sending Jackson for a consultation with Young was always part of the plan, and not a cry for help.
''Some people will look at it and question why she's going to another specialist, but it's just part of the process,'' he said.
''It's not like we're throwing our hands up in the air and saying we can't fix this.''
Canberra skipper Jessica Bibby said the players were resigned to being without Jackson for the season.
''We can't expect 'Loz' back soon and the club's probably stupid to try and get her back, even if she was [fit] in the next few weeks,'' she said.