SEATTLE – The Seattle Storm got used to star center Lauren Jackson being absent because of injuries and commitments with the Australian national team.
Now, they'll have to adjust to playing without Jackson and floor leader Sue Bird.
The Storm enter the season with neither star available as both recover from major surgeries. Jackson is rehabbing her hamstring, and Bird had knee surgery.
The two stalwarts who led the team to two WNBA championships during their careers will miss the entire summer season.
That means veterans Tanisha Wright, Camille Little and Tina Thompson will have to step up. It also opens spots for younger players, including Seattle's first-round pick Tianna Hawkins of Maryland and second-year player Shekinna Stricklen.
The Storm open on the road Sunday at Los Angeles against the Sparks and star Candace Parker.