UConn superstar Paige Bueckers was carried off of the court after suffering a left knee injury in the Huskies’ win over Notre Dame on Sunday. It was a non-contact injury, her leg buckled as she was dribbling up the court and she went down with 38.5 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
UConn beat Notre Dame but Paige Bueckers was carried off the floor after hurting her ankle with under a minute left. pic.twitter.com/C4Wh7SzDh7— ✯✯✯✯✯ (@FTB_Vids_YT) December 5, 2021
A teary Bueckers was carried to the bench by teammates, where she was evaluated by team trainer Janelle Francisco. After the buzzer sounded, Francisco and another staffer helped Bueckers through the handshake line, though she did put some weight on her legs.
“The doctors did a quick examination and they’re going to wait for the ice to come off and then they’ll know more and then an MRI,” Geno Auriemma said after the game. “On the replay, it looked like it probably hyperextended, best case scenario.”
He also confirmed it’s a knee injury and said she did not twist anything, which would’ve been “really bad.”
“Hopefully we’ll get some good news tomorrow,” Auriemma said.
“We’re praying for the best, praying for good news and just kind of waiting for the outcome,” Olivia Nelson-Ododa said.
According to David J. Chao, a former NFL team doctor, “the worry is the knee hyperextension,” and UConn will need to hope Bueckers did not suffer a season-ending ACL tear. Another sports medicine doctor, Jessica Flynn, also said it “does look like a knee hyper extension.”
The Huskies were up by 18 when Bueckers got injured. Auriemma explained his reasoning for keeping her in the game.
“She never wants to come out. She’s a pain in the ass to have on the bench because all she does is complain about why she’s not playing,” he said. “We’ve made a concerted effort in the last three or four games to get her some rest during the game.”
“I don’t have an answer for why she was in the game,” he added. “I mean, that could happen anytime. It could happen in practice. It could happen in the game. It can happen anytime. But yeah, I don’t like our team without her on the court. I mean, I might have to like it if she misses any time, but I don’t like the way it looks when she’s not on the floor.”