Syosset's Sue Bird will miss the remainder of the WNBA season with the Seattle Storm as she continues to recover from left knee surgery, the team announced on Tuesday afternoon.
Bird, who will turn 39 next month, had arthroscopic surgery on May 30 and has not appeared in a game this season. She said she plans to return to play in the WNBA in 2020.
"While it has been difficult not to be on the court with my teammates, I am very proud of what they have accomplished this season," Bird said in a statement. "I look forward to suiting up for the Storm in 2020."
The defending champion Storm (16-15 heading into Tuesday night's game against the Phoenix Mercury) have clinched a playoff spot without Bird or reigning WNBA MVP Breanna Stewart playing a game this season. Stewart is recovering from a torn Achilles.
Bird started 31 regular season games for the Storm last season, averaging 10.1 points and a career-high 7.1 assists to help the Storm win the WNBA title, her third with the franchise. Bird averaged 10 points and 6.9 assists in eight playoff games.
She also missed the 2013 season after she had surgery to remove a cyst from her left knee.
Bird, who was named to her 11th WNBA All-Star team last season, could be looking at a big 2020. In addition to her plan of returning to play for the Storm, she could be selected as a member of the U.S. Olympic team. Bird is one of eight WNBA players committed to participating in five of the team's training segments as part of an expanded training plan for the U.S. women's national team. Bird already has won four Olympic gold medals as a member of the national team.