Lauren Jackson

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

They may have won it all in 2010, but this year the Seattle Storm reverted back to their old habit of exiting the playoffs in the first round. They've done it six out of the last seven years.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says injuries and exhaustion were big factors.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

What a difference a year makes. They were the WNBA champs in 2010, but the Seattle Storm is already out of this year's playoffs. They were eliminated in the first round by the Phoenix Mercury Monday night at KeyArena.

Elaine Thompson / AP

"Your star player will be out for the rest of the season, and maybe the playoffs. Now ... SMILE!"

That was pretty much the scenario for members of the Seattle Storm this week when the 2010 WNBA champions were honored by President Obama at the White House.

As they were taking photos in the White House Rose Garden, most of the team learned that three-time WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson – "the heart and soul of the Storm," according to KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel – was to have hip surgery. She's expected to be out up to three months.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

On the same day the members of the Seattle Storm were honored by President Obama at the White House, the ladies learned that teammate and three-time WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson is having hip surgery today and will be out up to 12 weeks.

It's a blow to the team whose season has not gotten off to a great start. They were WNBA champions just a year ago. Can the Storm claim the title again this year – without a lot of help from Lauren Jackson?

Hear KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel's take on that tomorrow morning at 5:35 and 7:35 on KPLU. And you'll find a blog of our conversation right here tomorrow morning as well.