Jackson still aiming for Rio swan song
9 June 2015
BASKETBALL: Lauren Jackson wants to retire on her own terms and is determined to make the 2016 Rio Olympics her swan song.
The 34-year-old has had to put her playing career on hold the past year as she underwent no fewer than seven surgeries on a persistent knee injury.
She has missed three WNBA seasons in a row for the Seattle Storm, including what was meant to be a "farewell tour" in 2015, and sat out all but a few games in the Canberra Capitals' most recent WNBL campaign.
The four-time Olympic medallist is now hobbling on a crutch after having a cast removed last Monday following stem cell treatment on her knee in May.
"The last surgery I had ... was pretty intense," Jackson told AAP.
"They went in there and actually found it was getting worse, even though I'd done nothing for three months.
"It just hasn't gotten better and I've had to remain in this constant state of rehab and training.
"So it's just been a real mental battle for me."
Jackson is hopeful of returning next year to play for the Storm, with whom she's still contracted, as well as the Capitals and Australian Opals.
"I want to get back and be able to give it just that one last year," she said.
"I want to go out on my own terms.
"Since the (2012 London) Olympics I've been injured, so I just want to be able to come back, have a good year with Canberra, maybe play with Seattle next year and then maybe go to the Olympics.
"And then, I'm done."
Jackson, after being appointed an officer in the Order of Australia on Monday, will take some time out to get her "head straight" before another stint of rehab and training.
"I just need to get away for a couple of weeks because it's just been an insane 16 months of rehab and surgery," she said.
"My medical team have sort of said that regardless of how my knee holds up after this surgery, I'm always going to have trouble with it.
"It's one of those things where I just need to stay positive and get as strong as I possibly can."