Lauren Jackson has vowed to work diligently and overcome her injuries after revealing she will miss at least two more Canberra Capitals matches.
Canberra had hoped the superstar centre would be available for Saturday night’s opening home match of the season against WNBL arch rival Bulleen.
But Capitals and Australian Opals doctor Dave Hughes has recommended she complete two weeks of further rehabilitation on hamstring, back and Achilles injuries.
The 31-year-old is due to start a lucrative contract this year where she will play three of the next four seasons with the Capitals.
Jackson has already missed the first two rounds as a jam-packed season - including European, WNBA and Olympic commitments - takes its toll.
While frustrated, the prognosis is reassuring for Jackson, who initially feared she could be set for a lengthy lay-off after playing busted in the WNBA playoffs with Seattle.
‘‘The way I was feeling [after the playoffs] it was pretty bad,’’ she told media in Canberra this morning.
‘‘When I finished the WNBA season I couldn’t even walk without limping, but I’m coming along very well and I have faith in the AIS people that they’re going to get me, hopefully, close to pain-free.
‘‘I signed here knowing I had the resources at the AIS here to help me prolong my career a little bit.’’
A visibly exhausted Jackson admitted she will be ‘‘over the moon’’ when Christmas arrives and she can take a complete break from the game. She also hinted she may take the chance to adopt a light schedule next season and bypass playing in Europe after a one year stint in Spain this year.
Jackson’s contract stipulates she will sit out next year’s WNBL season, before returning to Canberra for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.
‘‘I’m not sure I’ll hit Europe again, it’s too far away and too much, but who knows we’ll see what happens,’ she said.
‘‘Next year is probably the only year I can get off.
‘‘It’s going to be pretty full on in terms of the rehab, but being in Canberra and around people I trust makes a huge difference.’’
Jackson added the 24-game WNBL season, much shorter than the gruelling campaigns in the USA and Europe, will help as she looks to lighten her workload
‘‘It helps me a lot because I get to put in rehab every day at the Institute, probably train only twice a week and it does help longevity wise,’’ Jackson said.
‘‘I’m contracted to the WNBA and WNBL and made commitments, it would have to be something pretty critical to stop me playing over there or here.
‘‘Something eventually is going to give eventually, but at this stage it’s not.’’