Jackson in holding pattern as Capitals sweat on decision

Jackson in holding pattern as Capitals sweat on decision

Lauren Jackson will wait until June before deciding on her immediate future and won't be rushed into committing to a WNBL comeback for the Canberra Capitals next season.

The door is slightly ajar for Jackson to rejoin the Capitals for the 2013-14 campaign as she continues her recovery from hamstring surgery.

Future still unclear ... Lauren Jackson.

Future still unclear ... Lauren Jackson.Credit:Jay Cronan

Capitals chief executive Tony Jackson will meet with the four-time Olympian's manager on Friday to begin talks about whether she wants to play in Canberra at the end of the year. It is understood the Capitals want a decision on her playing status by May 31 so they know whether they can start building a roster around the veteran. Jackson signed a unique $1 million three-season, five-year deal to play with the Capitals, but her injury meant she didn't play a game in the last WNBL campaign.

Jackson wasn't expected to play the 2013-14 season in Canberra. But given she is yet to hit the court, the Capitals were hopeful she would suit up to help the club's push to become a championship contender again. Jackson is waiting until she gets back on the court in June and ramps up her training before making a call on where or if she will play this year.


''We're not going to make any rash decisions, we want to wait until I'm back on court training [in June],'' she said. ''I'm just trying to get in some sort of shape at the moment because I've been out for the past seven months, but I'm not pushing myself extremely hard at this point.

''It's doing little bits here and there … my body feels great. I don't want to let anyone down again [when I come back]. I haven't spoken to Tony or [Capitals coach Carrie Graf] and we'll wait until June.''

The Capitals are starting to put their roster in place after missing the finals last season. It's understood star Carly Wilson is close to finalising a deal while skipper Jess Bibby will play on for at least one more season.

Last season's most valuable player, Brigitte Ardossi, and Mikaela Dombkins are unlikely to return.

The Capitals are hoping to secure some recruits in the coming days, with 193-centimetre championship winner Elyse Penaluna and rising star Carley Mijovic on the radar.

''We're just trying to get the roster sorted … we want to know where Lauren's at so the window doesn't close on a lot of other players,'' Tony Jackson said.

Jackson has been easing herself back into training in her home town of Albury and has been working with a personal trainer to get back in shape. She is also visiting the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra regularly to keep on track for a comeback to the court.

A debilitating hamstring injury hampered the 31-year-old for most of last year and she played through pain at the London Olympics.

Despite being unable to play, she still attended most Canberra training sessions and all home matches.

''It was really hard to sit on the bench last season … I wasn't in a great head space because it was so hard for a lot of different reasons,'' Jackson said. ''I want to come back and be the best I can be. I don't want to let anyone or myself down. I know my body will be fine. I just want to make sure it's right and when I commit to it, I'm committing.''

Chris Dutton is the sports editor at The Canberra Times.

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