SEATTLE – The Seattle Storm today announced that point guard Sue Bird will undergo arthroscopic surgery to remove a loose body in her left knee and will be out indefinitely during the 2019 season.
Dr. Michael Joyce will perform the surgery in Connecticut at a date in the near future. Once cleared to travel, Bird will return to Seattle for rehabilitation with members of the Swedish Hospital and Storm medical care teams. No further timetable will be provided at this time.
“The most important thing to us is that Sue is healthy and strong. Based on her feedback and evaluation from her longtime surgeon and our medical team, it was determined the best course of action was a scope,” said Storm CEO and GM Alisha Valavanis. “We have confidence this will support Sue’s full recovery and we look forward to her return to the court.”
Last season, Bird was selected to her record 11th WNBA All-Star Game and averaged a career-high 7.1 assists per game. On July 22, 2018, Bird became the WNBA’s all-time leader in games played (508).
“I’m super disappointed to have to miss time with the team this season. There’s nothing I want more than to be on court with my teammates defending our title,” said Bird. “I’ve been down this road before, so now I just have to focus on getting better so I can continue to represent the Storm, the city of Seattle and the ‘Storm Crazies’ in the future.”
The second Storm player to undergo surgery this year, Bird will complete her rehabilitation in Seattle and will remain an active presence in the Storm locker room. On April 18, Breanna Stewart underwent successful surgery to repair a ruptured right Achilles that she suffered in the EuroLeague Finals. Stewart will continue her rehabilitation with specialists in Los Angeles.
“Our franchise is built to be resilient. We have a team that brought the city of Seattle a WNBA championship in 2018 and we will not diminish our expectation for the future,” said Storm co-owner Lisa Brummel. “We appreciate the outpouring of support for Sue and Stewie and the relentless passion our fans share for the team that takes the court starting this Saturday.”
Bird and Stewart will be in attendance when the Storm opens the regular season on Saturday, May 25 at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, Wash. Tip-off vs. the Phoenix Mercury is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. on ABC. Opening Day presented by Swedish will feature a ring ceremony celebrating the franchise’s third WNBA title.