Lauren Jackson with fans at Manuka Oval on Wednesday. Photo: Colleen Petch
Lauren Jackson is playing down her chances of returning to the WNBL this season, saying joining the Canberra Capitals on court in the remaining rounds will be the best-case scenario.
Doctors finally pinpointed a "massive" tear in Jackson's adductor muscle two weeks ago, which has been causing the pain keeping the Olympian off the basketball court since she returned to Australia in October. But the diagnosis hasn't given any more clarity to her immediate future, and Jackson is unable to put a timeline on her recovery.
"I wish I could, I absolutely wish I could," she said
"I mean best case, I'll be able to play this season, that's sort of what I'm hoping for, but at this point I don't want to give myself any more false hope, or anybody else.
"It's just been one of those things where we've been putting a timeline on it and then been blowing the timeline, there's no point in actually saying this is how long it's going to be, because this has been unpredictable."
Jackson is keeping her fingers crossed that platelet injections in her troubled adductor will be the answer she's been looking for since sustaining the injury during the Opals' Olympic campaign.
"I had blood injections done two weeks ago, so hopefully that reignites the healing process, which would be great, and if it doesn't, we'll have to work out something else.
"It's very frustrating, but I have to get it sorted so I can move on with my career and finish it on a positive note - in a few years."
Jackson has endured months of rehabilitation since the end of the WNBA season, but doctors couldn't pinpoint the problem she always knew was in her leg.
"I think it was just in a really awkward position," she said of the delay in diagnosis.
"People thought it was in my back because it was nerve pain and people thought it was … my hamstring - and part of it is, there's a few different things going on - but we were just looking in the wrong spot, and when we looked in the right spot it was 'ah - there you go.'
"When we saw it, it was like 'ah - wasted five months of my life thank you very much, five months of my career', but anyway."
Adding to her injury woes, Jackson has only been able to watch from the sidelines as her Caps teammates have lost their past six games.
"I think the frustration comes from watching them practise every day - they practise hard and Graffy's a great coach, she's drilling them and sometimes these things happen, sometimes you go through a drought, and that's what's happening at the moment and it's frustrating that I can't help in any way," Jackson said.
"[But] they're not the sort of people who are going to hang their heads, they go out there and they train harder and they want to get better.
"We just need a win and once we get that win the confidence will start building back up on court."