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Jayda Evans covers college and pro women's basketball. While its her first year on the Washington beat, she has covered the Storm since its inception. She'll offer observations, critiques, occasional off-beat tales and answers to select e-mail inquires. Evans also has written a book on the Storm and women's hoops, called "Game On!"

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July 16, 2007 8:32 PM

Bionic woman

Posted by Jayda Evans

It's been 10 days and All-Star Sue Bird looks like the point guard circa 2004. Yes, she practiced full-on with the team and was tipping passes on defense and making jumpers on offense. It was freaky because I was under the impression that she had arthroscopic left knee surgery to clear loose particles and a small meniscus tear on July 6.

"My doctor is very, I say the word liberal," said Bird of Dr. Michael Joyce of the University of Connecticut Health Center. "When I had my ACL surgery [in college], he didn't want me wearing a brace -- ever. He's a very go get 'em type of guy. I was telling people here and they didn't believe that the next day I was running in the pool."

Bird, who experienced her third surgery on the knee, was on the court shooting free throws on Friday. She progressed to adding a step or dribble pull-up on Saturday. And Sunday's rehab session was six hours because she had to watch the All-Star game and did exercises, like weaving around strength and conditioning coach Ryan Hite, who provided dummy defense.

At one point during practice on Monday in Phoenix, which was after a plane ride and about three-hours long, Storm coach Anne Donovan asked Bird how she felt and the league's second-leading assist leader (5.0) chirped back, "good."

But Bird will not dress for Tuesday's game against Phoenix, even though teammate Lauren Jackson kept saying, "I think she's good enough to play," from the sideline toward the end of practice. Donovan offered the Times no insight on Bird's timetable for return (why am I not surprised). Bird also said that the doctors and trainers are insisting she remain out for the minimum two weeks, so that puts her return at July 20.

"I feel really comfortable," said Bird, who showed off the slight swelling were the incisions were made. She has to keep that down. "I was a little anxious to see what it would be like out there with other people [during practice], but once I got into it I was fine. The big thing is how you react the next day. The one thing I'm lacking is my conditioning. I have to get that back to where I was because I felt like I was in really good shape by that LA game."

Remember that? She had 10 points and 11 assists in 31 minutes - on a bum knee.

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