STORRS, Conn. (WTNH) — The UConn Women’s Basketball star Paige Bueckers, who plays as a Guard, suffered a torn ACL in her left knee and will be out for the entirety of the 2022-23 season.
Bueckers was injured during a pickup basketball game and underwent an MRI on Monday evening to confirm the injury, according to university officials.
The UConn Women’s Basketball Coach Geno Auriemma released the following statement:
“We’re all devastated for Paige. 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. 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.”
Paige released a statement on social media saying, “It’s so so crazy because you work so hard to get back healthy, you feel strong than ever, and you are playing your best basketball and with one sudden movement it all shifts. It’s hard trying to make sense of it all now but I can’t help but think that God is using me as a testimony as to how much you can overcome with Him by your side. Some little kids that just tore their ACL or had a major surgery might need this story because it’s going to be one hell of a comeback. There are going to be good days and there are going to be bad days but my absolute love for the game and Godly strength will get me back to where I need to be. I’ve worked too hard for the little kid in these pictures to keep going for the dreams I’ve had since I first picked up the ball, so why would I stop now? The prayers and love mean so much to me and the doubts that I won’t get back to where I was might mean even more. God put a dream in my heart and even if I have to walk through a nightmare to get it I’m going to keep believing. All love, P”
Officials said she will undergo surgery on Friday at UConn Health and an update on her recovery timetable will become available after the surgery.
This is the same knee Bueckers injured last year against Notre Dame in December.
News 8 talked to a Sports Medicine Specialist from Orthopedic Associates of Hartford about what her recovery timeline might look like.
“It’s usually a season-ending injury, but not a career-ending injury. As we look at specifics, they’re able to come back. The rehab, the recovery profile is six months, nine months, potentially up to a year to the point where we’d pat them on the back saying you’re good to go. Having a prior injury doesn’t mean they’re necessarily at risk for another injury,” said Dr. Robert Waskowtiz. “Mental focus is key here. We always say we can fix this, but we need you up here. Someone of a competitive nature, they usually have a very good support system.”
Bueckers will still have two years of eligibility remaining when she returns.