UConn women’s basketball continues to be decimated by injuries as sophomore guard Nika Mühl will miss a significant chunk of time with a foot ailment, head coach Geno Auriemma said on Wednesday.
The issue stems from the foot injury she suffered last season in the NCAA Tournament opener against High Point. It continued to bother Mühl throughout the summer and now, she’ll be sidelined for the next few weeks to prevent it from developing into a more serious problem.
“Whenever there’s these reactions in your foot that, in and of themselves, are not worst case scenarios right now, you’re being cautious so it doesn’t become a worst case scenario — where it becomes a broken foot,” Auriemma explained. “So how quickly people heal depends on each individual. That’s going to be the determining factor, really. I would think it’s going to be probably three weeks, maybe more. Maybe less, who knows, if we’re lucky.”
With Paige Bueckers (tibial plateau fracture) and Azzi Fudd (foot) both out as well, the Huskies have just three healthy guards left: Seniors Evina Westbrook and Christyn Williams as well as freshman Caroline Ducharme.
Aubrey Griffin — who has mostly been a forward at UConn but could play at guard in a pinch — also doesn’t seem like she’s any closer to returning from a combination of ankle, leg and back injuries that have kept her out of the first six games this season.
“Aubrey tried to go yesterday, wasn’t really successful and didn’t practice today,” Auriemma said. “I’m not quite sure what her what her status could be either Thursday or Saturday. I guess we’ll see day to day how that how that evolves.”
Assuming Griffin is out this weekend, the Huskies will have just nine players available against Georgia Tech and UCLA. Westbrook, Williams and Ducharme were already going to be counted on more in Bueckers’ absence but now, the three players are UConn’s only options in the backcourt.
Over the next month or so, the Huskies will need to hit the pause button on their long-term season plans. For now, their focus will be on getting through this stretch as best they can.
“We just gotta weather the storm,” Auriemma said. “It’s just going to be a long storm.”