Nika Mühl is making progress in her recovery from a high ankle sprain, though her status for UConn’s Final Four matchup with Arizona on Friday remains uncertain.
She responded well after returning to practice for the first time on Wednesday but will need to test it again on Thursday.
“She says she feels good. We’re getting ready to practice as soon as we finish with the with the media stuff so we’ll know more a little bit later,” Auriemma said on Thursday. “It was encouraging that our medical staff said that after doing a little bit yesterday, she looked pretty good, and I’m hoping that after she does a little bit more today, she’ll feel just as good tomorrow morning when she wakes up. But we probably won’t know for certain, 100%, until after shoot-around tomorrow.”
Mühl turned her foot during UConn’s first-round matchup with High Point and sat out the next three games. Even though she was initially questionable to play in the next round against Syracuse, Mühl hasn’t suffered any setbacks.
“Nika had an MRI, x-rays — she’s had everything you can imagine,” Auriemma said on Wednesday. “It’s one of those high ankle sprains that bothers you for a long time.”
If Mühl can go on Friday night, she figures to factor into UConn’s plans to slow Arizona star Aari McDonald down.
“If we had Nika 100%, we’re a different basketball team — a much different basketball team,” Auriemma said. “You don’t replace a defensive guard like that, a defensive-minded guard like that. Not that she would be able to guard, Aari McDonald, don’t get me wrong, but that would give us another defender that we could switch up and let Aari see a different look.”