UConn women’s basketball will be without freshman Azzi Fudd “for a while” due to a foot injury, according to head coach Geno Auriemma.
“There’s some kind of beginning of a stress reaction or something and best to be cautious,” he said. “It’s a long season and even more importantly, it’s a long career for her.”
Fudd has been dealing with a foot issue dating back to the summer. While she initially tried to just play through it, the team eventually determined the best course of action would be to sit her down for a handful of weeks.
“I don’t know if you saw her when she played, it didn’t look right,” Auriemma said. “She’s not getting up and down the floor great.”
“She’s a really tough kid, right? She never wants to sit out. She thinks she can do anything,” he added later. “You’ve been waiting all this time to play and she tried playing through it and it’s just not working. So we did more more studies, more MRIs, more film and more stuff and she’s not gonna be playing for a while.”
In two weeks, the Huskies’ medical staff will re-evaluate Fudd. Until then, she’ll be sidelined along with her 19.5 minutes per game which will present Nika Mühl and Caroline Ducharme with an opportunity to take on a larger role.
Neither player has started the season well. Mühl has struggled to re-find her spot in the rotation after establishing herself as an indispensable piece late last year while Ducharme is battling through typical freshman struggles. She has taken just one 3-pointer — a major part of her game — and has only seen 19 minutes overall.
“[Fudd’s injury] certainly means more playing time for them. For sure,” Auriemma said of Ducharme and Mühl. “That means more opportunities for them. That means we’re asking more of them. Correct. And they both can do it. Obviously, they’re both capable. Nika showed us last year and Caroline has shown us pretty much every day in practice. But that hasn’t transferred over yet to games. But it will.”
Mühl is also dealing with a minor ailment as she watched the final portion of practice open to the media from the side without her jersey on. She also had a wrap on her upper left leg. Auriemma didn’t sound concerned, though.
“She practiced a lot before you got here,” he said. “So yeah, she’s fine.”
Meanwhile, Aubrey Griffin is set to return against Seton Hall on Friday after missing the first four games of the season.
“She’s gonna be able to give us a few minutes this weekend,” Auriemma said.
UPDATE: Auriemma said on the Coaches’ Show Thursday night that Griffin will not play this weekend due to her injuries.
“She’s got some chronic back issues that she’s had for a long, long time,” he said. “Then the ankle this year, she did it in high school, too. Same one, she was out eight weeks. So these things, they’re annoying, but they’re real. Let’s go as long as we can and see what we can do.”