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UConn Men’s Hoops: James Bouknight’s timeline for return

Head coach Dan Hurley shared details on James Bouknight’s injury situation and the intensity of his practices.

Dan Hurley Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

Update Jan. 24, 2021 at 2 p.m.

James Bouknight will be out about 4 to 6 weeks, head coach Dan Hurley clarified with reporters Friday.

Andre Jackson could be back soon, if he’s pain-free next week, Hurley said.

Story from Jan. 17, 2021

UConn guard James Bouknight will be out a few more weeks after having elbow surgery last week, head coach Dan Hurley said Sunday.

“He’s handled it well,” Hurley said. “He’s very antsy because he wants to play, but he’s in his rehab. And now he’s got a couple of weeks here that he’s got to rehab that injury.”

Hurley offered some additional updates including insight into freshman Andre Jackson’s return and Tyler Polley’s black eye from practice.

Injury updates

Bouknight had surgery to address bone spurs in his left elbow from a fall during the first half of UConn’s win over Marquette two weeks ago. Bouknight played most of the second half but did not contribute to the scoring total.

He had been listed as a game-time decision against Butler and DePaul, but the athletic department announced he had surgery Tuesday. They said that Bouknight would be out “indefinitely” after the surgery, but it sounds like it could be just a few more weeks, according to Hurley.

Andre Jackson, UConn’s top 2020 recruit, has a “big appointment” coming up this week for his recovery from a fractured wrist. He has seen some limited practice time and has been doing a lot of cardio work, Hurley said.

Practice intensity

After UConn’s win over DePaul last week, junior Tyrese Martin confirmed something many had been hearing about.

“No one in this country practices like us, I wholeheartedly believe that,” Martin said.

Hurley himself mentioned the “cauldron of intensity” back in early December. Well, the cauldron was clearly boiling this week as a photo of Polley with a burgeoning black eye floated across the timeline.

Polley missed parts of two practices this weekend as a result, but Hurley said he’s “completely fine” now. He had some “pretty significant swelling” around his left eye, but it went down after he moved around a bit, Hurley said. Hurley later remarked that it made Polley look like a boxer, as he fittingly sported a Mike Tyson t-shirt.

Hurley has been turning up the heat on the practice court since he got to Storrs, but it didn’t reach the level it is at now until year two, he said. The coaching staff had to “re-wire” the way the team worked his first season, and it became more competitive in his second. Now Hurley says they know how to win on top of that, which has shown in their first eight games – and latest few without Bouknight especially.

“The only thing I demand as a coach, is every single thing that these guys have,” Hurley said on Sunday.

A gift

The program bought Hurley a “Captain Brutality” t-shirt for his birthday. Hurley has adopted it as his alter ego. He said his superpowers include “an endless supply of intensity,” an “unreasonable demand for effort and accountability” and the ability to “set the standard always a little bit higher than anyone could actually get to.”