Bird recovering from knee surgery, not sure of return date

Published Jun. 16, 2019 6:25 p.m. ET

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) — Sue Bird isn't sure when she'll be back this year. The WNBA's all-time assist leader said she has to be smart about her health as she recovers from surgery on her left knee.

"I don't know. I'm hoping to be healthy. For me that means being smart and doing what I have to do to make sure I'm 100%," Seattle's star said after Seattle lost to Connecticut 81-67 on Sunday. "Do I love the fact that I might have to miss the season? No. I hate it. Hopefully time doesn't run out on me. I think at this point in my career I can't be stupid."

The 38-year-old point guard has been recovering from knee surgery she had in May to take care of a loose bone in her knee that impacted her ability to play and needed to be removed surgically.

"It's doing really well," Bird said. "It's been super easy recovery so far. Taking it easy because they had to do a little more than they anticipated. The first six weeks are boring for me."

Bird said that Dr. Michael Joyce, who performed the surgery, found a little more than expected and had to make an incision on the side and not just go in arthroscopically.

"It's been an experience where I didn't realize how much pain I had been in until it was gone," Bird said. "Things in your regular life become that much more normal which is really nice. "I felt instant relief... my range of motion is much greater than it was. Forget basketball, it made a difference in my life."

While she's been rehabbing, Bird has been paying attention to the U.S. women's soccer team led by her girlfriend Megan Rapinoe. Bird said she may try to get over to France for the FIFA World Cup title game if the U.S. is playing.


"I'm not going till potentially the final," she said. "The minute the schedule came out I looked at it immediately and we have a week off of games. So I can go to France and make it back and not miss a day of practice. I may have to log those miles, we'll see."