UConns Bueckers has torn ACL, will miss season

    Mechelle Voepel covers the WNBA, women’s college basketball, and other college sports for espnW. Voepel began covering women’s basketball in 1984, and has been with ESPN since 1996.

UConn women’s basketball junior guard Paige Bueckers suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee on Monday and will miss the 2022-23 season, the school announced Wednesday.

Bueckers injured her knee in a pickup basketball game, according to the school’s release, and an MRI later that evening confirmed the ACL tear. The release did not say where Bueckers was playing when the injury occurred.

She will undergo surgery Friday at UConn Health in Farmington, Connecticut. An update on her recovery timetable will be made available after the procedure.

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

Bueckers was the 2020-21 consensus national player of the year, becoming the first freshman to earn that honor and helping UConn reach the women’s Final Four. She missed 19 games last season after suffering a left-knee tibial plateau fracture and torn meniscus in early December but returned to help lead the Huskies to the national championship game, where they lost to South Carolina.

“We’ll miss her presence on the court, but she’ll do everything she can to still lead and help her teammates this season,” Auriemma said. “Our program will support Paige through her healing process to help her come back better and stronger.”

Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.

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