Jon Tuxworth and Lee Gaskin August 19, 2012
Lauren Jackson will start training with the Capitals just three days before the WNBL season starts. Photo: Pat Scala
Canberra Capitals skipper Jess Bibby insists the club's campaign won't be compromised despite revelations Lauren Jackson will front for training just three days before their Women's National Basketball League season-opener.
Jackson will re-join the Capitals on October 3 , three days before the WNBL heavyweight's round one clash in Sydney on October 6.
The rest of the squad will come together on September 3, but Bibby said Jackson's absence would help Capitals' preparations, preventing them from developing an over-reliance on the Australian Opals star.
Canberra missed the finals for the first time since 2004-05 last season after losing seven of the first eight games.
But Bibby fully expects Jackson to find her feet immediately.
''The fact we won't have Loz until then is a good chance just to get everybody else understanding we need to rely on more people than Loz,'' Bibby said.
''We can't have Loz as our sole focus and so we get to have a look at other people's roles and establish other scorers and weapons.''
Jackson will play three of the next four seasons with the Capitals on a deal believed to be worth approximately $1 million.
Bibby said Jackson would also be managed throughout the season to ensure she can progress injury-free.
''People will be aware Loz will be limited at training, limited practice time to rest her body and make sure she can get through the season,'' Bibby said.
''As long as everyone is aware that's what's happening, then I'm sure it won't be an issue.
''You have a dominant figure like Loz, you give the ball to her and everyone can just stand and watch and expect she's going to get the job done for you.
''I'm hoping we're advanced enough to know that's not going to happen and Loz understands that too.''
The Capitals face the prospect of not having any games televised in full for the first time in their history.
It was revealed this week that the WNBL, in conjunction with ABC television, has agreed to have a match-of-the-week shown in a one-hour condensed highlights format for the upcoming season.
The move has been made in a bid to attract higher television ratings.
Basketball ACT chief executive Tony Jackson is against the change, but admits that it could lead to increased attendances at Canberra's 11 home games.
He is also hoping to have all the Capitals games live-streamed on their website as is the case with the Canberra Gunners and Canberra Capitals Academy in the SEABL.
''At the moment, I'm working with the AIS Arena to get the games live-streamed, that's a priority for us,'' Jackson said.
''The problem is, the infrastructure at the AIS Arena isn't up to scratch. It's supposed to be an international venue for crying out loud.
''We'll get it done, but we'll have to foot the investment ourselves.''
Meanwhile, the Capitals have lured former West Coast Waves head coach David Herbert as one of their assistant coaches for the upcoming season.
Herbert has coached the Perth franchise for the last two years, and also coached Townsville for six years.
''I think Chris Lucas [former Capitals assistant, now Townsville head coach], set the standard for how important it is to have experienced assistants,'' Bibby said.
''Having an extra set of eyes of a head coach on the sideline can make all the difference.''