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UConn women’s basketball: Aubrey Griffin downgraded to out this weekend with ankle, back injuries

The junior was expected to make her season debut this season.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn women’s basketball’s Aubrey Griffin will not play this weekend due to ankle and back injuries, head coach Geno Auriemma announced on his radio show Thursday night. The coach said one day earlier that the junior would play a few minutes in the Huskies’ two upcoming games.

“We thought she was going to be good to go this weekend and our athletic trainer, Janelle [Francisco] told me today after watching her go through some things in practice a little bit...she said, ‘[Aubrey’s] not going to be available this weekend,” Auriemma told 97.9 ESPN. “It’s just been one thing after another for the poor kid. Her ankle, her leg, her back, it’s just a lot. I don’t want to put anybody out there that’s not 100 percent. It’s a long season.”

Griffin has yet to suit up this season due to a high ankle sprain as well as a chronic back issue. With her out, UConn will have a short bench at Seton Hall on Friday and against Notre Dame on Sunday. Azzi Fudd will also be sidelined “for a while” due to a foot injury and won’t be re-evaluated for at least two weeks.

That leaves Dorka Juhász, Nika Mühl and Caroline Ducharme as Auriemma’s top reserves, though Mir McLean could factor in as well. The Huskies haven’t gotten much from their bench through the first four games, though the rash of injuries could help change that. Specifically, Mühl and Ducharme will both have a big opportunity to earn a larger role.

“[Fudd’s injury] certainly means more playing time for them. For sure,” Auriemma said of Ducharme and Mühl on Wednesday. “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.”