UConn women’s basketball star Paige Bueckers will be out roughly eight weeks after undergoing successful left knee surgery on Monday, Dec. 13 to repair an anterior tibial plateau fracture and lateral meniscus tear, the school announced on Tuesday.
Bueckers injured her knee in the Huskies’ win over Notre Dame on Dec. 5. She was initially diagnosed with just a tibial plateau fracture and was expected to miss 6-8 weeks as a result. The torn meniscus is new as of UConn’s announcement. The recovery is expected to take eight weeks from the date of the surgery, which puts her potential return around the first week of February.
Auriemma first brought up the potential for surgery after the Huskies’ win over UCLA on Saturday.
“She needs to solicit a couple other opinions,” Auriemma told reporters. “And then the next step is there’s either going to be surgery or there’s not going to be surgery. And that’s gotta happen relatively soon. Yes or no.”
Assuming all goes well during Bueckers’ rehab and she’s back for the Huskies’ Feb. 9 matchup against Villanova (which is eight weeks from Wednesday), she will miss 18 games — including matchups with Oregon, South Carolina and Tennessee. However, Auriemma made it clear he’ll be extra-cautious with her recovery.
“Each person heals differently,” he said on Saturday. “If there is surgery, then I’m looking at mid-February, late February at the latest.”
Bueckers went down with a non-contact left knee injury with 38.5 seconds left in UConn’s 73-54 win over Notre Dame. She needed to be carried to the bench and was helped to the locker room afterwards.
The Huskies are still adjusting to life without their star. They fell flat in their first game after Bueckers’ injury and lost to Georgia Tech, 57-44. UConn didn’t look much better through two quarters against UCLA but figured it out in the second half thanks to a full-team effort.
The team’s next game isn’t until Sunday, Dec. 19 when it takes on No. 6 Louisville at Mohegan Sun Arena.