Lauren Jackson’s unrivalled basketball career appears to have ended on a heart-breaking note after the Opals legend suffered an injury in her WNBL tribute match.
Jackson has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with scans on Sunday revealing a partial tear in her right Achilles.
The 41-year-old won’t require surgery after limping off in tears just over a minute into the Southside Flyers’ one-point loss to the Sydney Flames on Saturday night at John Cain Arena.
Jackson returned to the bench early in the second quarter on crutches, putting on a brave face for the WNBL record crowd of 7,681 spectators.
She said the injury wasn’t related to the broken foot she has been playing with since December.
“This was absolutely incredible. To be a part of it was just magic, but it was a shame I couldn’t play more than 10 seconds,” Jackson said on court after the match.
“But the good news is that it’s not my broken foot, it’s the other [leg].”
Jackson returned from injury-forced basketball retirement last year to help the Opals to a bronze medal at the FIBA Women’s World Cup in Sydney.
Sitting third, the Flyers appear finals-bound in the WNBL with four games remaining.
The former WNBA star said she felt something “pop” when the injury occurred.
“I felt something pop and I said to the referee, ‘I don’t think I can walk’,” Jackson said.