Quick Bit: Bueckers missed much of the 2021-22 season with an injury in her left knee, but now will be out for all of the upcoming season.

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Paige Bueckers missed most of the 2021-22 season with a knee injury. She’s now expected going to miss all of the upcoming 2022-23 campaign.

UConn women’s basketball announced on Wednesday the junior guard had torn the ACL in her left knee.

“We’re all devastated for Paige. She’s worked really hard to get stronger and healthier this offseason, and this is an unfortunate setback,” coach Geno Auriemma said in a statement.

Paige is obviously an amazing basketball player but she’s a better person and teammate and it’s really unfortunate that this has happened to her. We’ll miss her presence on the court, but she’ll do everything she can to still lead and help her teammates this season. Our program will support Paige through her healing process to help her come back better and stronger.

Here’s the latest on her injury.

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Paige Bueckers injury update

The Huskies announced Bueckers tore the ACL in her left knee on Monday while she played a game of pick-up basketball. She will undergo surgery on Friday.

This is not the first time Bueckers has injured her left knee. On Dec. 5 against Notre Dame, Bueckers fractured her tibial plateau and had a lateral meniscus tear in her left knee. She underwent surgery to repair the damage, and made her return to the court on Feb. 25.

Bueckers exploded onto the college basketball scene as a freshman in the 2020-21 season, when she averaged 20 points, 4.9 rebounds and 8.4 assists. She also shot 52.4 percent from the field and 46.4 percent from 3-point range.

For the campaign, she earned the 2021 Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy, AP Player of the Year, USBWA Player and Freshman of the Year, and a litany of other honors.

MORE: Bueckers steps up when UConn needs her most in Huskies’ Elite Eight win vs. NC State

The next season, Bueckers played in six games before her injury and was playing at a higher level than her breakout freshman season. She averaged 21.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 6.2 assists, while shooting 56.2 percent from the field and 31 percent from 3. Her performance wasn’t quite at the same level when she returned to the court post-injury, however, as she finished the year averaging 14.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game with a 54.4 percent shooting percentage and a 35.3 percent 3-point success rate.

When will Paige Bueckers return?

Until Bueckers undergoes the procedure, it is impossible to know when exactly she will be able to return.

The Huskies said once she has her surgery, there will be a recovery timetable made available.

According to UCHealth, some athletes can recover from an ACL injury in six months, though it noted that it is more likely for athletes to come back in eight to nine months. That would mean a potential return in March or April.

Paige Bueckers eligibility

Bueckers is 20 years old and is a junior. She was born in October 2001 and won’t be eligible until 2023. The WNBA CBA states that a domestic player must be 22 years old by Dec. 31 of the draft year to be eligible. If a player is under 22, she must be graduating from a four-year institution within three months of the draft or her freshman class must be graduating within those three months.

Bueckers is eligible for a fifth season (2024-25) at UConn because of a pandemic-related NCAA eligibility extension. Given the money she can make through NIL, it’s conceivable that Bueckers could use that additional year of eligibility.

Originally found on Sporting News Read More

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