Lauren Jackson nearing home return

Canberra Capitals WNBL player Lauren Jackson could play on Sunday against the Dandenong Rangers.

Canberra Capitals WNBL player Lauren Jackson could play on Sunday against the Dandenong Rangers.

Canberra Capitals fans are likely to get their first glimpse in years of basketball star Lauren Jackson back on her home court this weekend.

Australia’s most famous female basketballer has been sidelined with multiple injuries for much of the past four years since suffering stress fractures in her shins during the 2010-11 season.

Most recently, Jackson was sidelined in January after tearing a meniscus in her right knee while playing in China.

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A persistent hip problem also affected the centre’s recovery, which prompted her to go under the knife for the fourth time this year.

Jackson managed just 15 minutes of play when she made her long-awaited return to the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) two weeks ago in Adelaide.

Capitals coach Carrie Graf said she was hoping Jackson would play in Canberra on Sunday when the team take on the Dandenong Rangers.

But Graf said Jackson would most likely miss the trip to Queensland for Friday night’s clash with the Townsville Fire.

“Our view was that she wasn’t ready to play back-to-back games yet, she got through that first one ok,” she said.

“But we’ve got to weigh up do we travel her or play her for one game at home?

“The travelling obviously swells up injuries and we’ll make that decision after we see how she responds through practice this week.”

Team-mate and four time WNBL championship basketballer Abby Bishop said it was great for the league to have Jackson back in the game.

“People haven’t seen her [at home in Canberra] for years, so hopefully they come out and witness it,” she said.

“Having Lauren back in Adelaide was great, she only played a few minutes and hopefully it can jump up a little bit the next game.”

Lauren’s rusty is everybody else’s normal: Bishop

Bishop said Jackson made a big impact in the game against the Adelaide Lightning, despite only a brief time on the court.

“Lauren’s ‘rusty’ is everybody else’s ‘normal’,” she said.

“She came out and didn’t feel well herself, but still had 13 points in 15 minutes, hit a big shot down the stretch.

“She’s going to get better and better after being out of the game for so long through injury and not practising much with the team at all.”

As well as the beginning of the Capitals’ 2014-15 season, Jackson also missed the World Championships in Turkey.

With just nine games remaining in the season, the Capitals are currently in fifth place on the ladder.

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