December 14, 2021 

Bueckers undergoes successful surgery

Recovery is estimated to take eight weeks, signaling mid-February return

UConn sophomore guard Paige Bueckers underwent successful surgery at the University of Connecticut Health on Monday. The surgery repaired an anterior tibial plateau fracture and lateral meniscus tear in her left knee.

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Bueckers injured her knee in the waning moments of a 73-54 Uconn victory over rival Notre Dame last Sunday, Dec. 5. An MRI and a CT scan later revealed a tibial plateau fracture. At the time, UConn estimated that Bueckers was expected to 6-8 weeks to recover from the injury. Today’s announcement estimates an eight-week recovery time from Monday, which would mean a mid-February return.

The Huskies have a short bench right now with only eight active players. In addition to Bueckers, guards Nika Mühl, Azzi Fudd and forward Aubrey Griffin are also sidelined with injuries. Yesterday, UConn coach Geno Auriemma announced that sophomore forward Mir McLean is transferring. The Huskies dropped four spots to No. 7 in the women’s AP Top 25 released Monday, the program’s lowest ranking since Jan. 22, 2007.

Graduate transfer Dorka Juhász has replaced Bueckers in the starting lineup in each of UConn’s last two games. She struggled in Connecticut’s 57-44 loss to Georgia Tech, scoring just two points and grabbing five rebounds in 27 minutes. She came back strong with a 16 point, 16 rebound performance in UConn’s 71-61 win over UCLA on Saturday. UConn will rely on important production from Juhász in the coming weeks.

“We’re fighters,” Juhász said after UConn’s win over UCLA. “We weren’t able to show that last game. This game showed we can fight back no matter what happens with our team, who’s injured. This is us and we have to play for each other and grind it out.”

The Huskies take on No. 7 Louisville in the Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Showcase on Sunday, Dec. 19.

Written by Tee Baker

Tee has been a contributor to The Next since March Madness 2021 and is currently a contributing editor, BIG EAST beat reporter and curator of historical deep dives.

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