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Azzi Fudd and Christyn Williams out for UConn women’s basketball’s two games this weekend

Nika Mühl will also return to limited minutes after playing all 40 at Oregon.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn women’s basketball will continue to be shorthanded this weekend against Seton Hall and St. John’s as neither Christyn Williams (COVID protocols) nor Azzi Fudd (foot) will suit up for the two games.

“The team you saw Monday (at Oregon) is the team that’s playing this weekend,” Geno Auriemma said on Thursday.

The team will know more on Monday, Jan. 24, after the games.

Auriemma didn’t provide any updates on Williams but said Fudd is beginning to make progress in her recovery.

“This week, Azzi has been able to get some really, really good rehab going and has been able to get some individual work done on the court for about half an hour since we got back (from Oregon) two or three times,” he said. “The plan is to keep adding more time and then keep evaluating and seeing how it feels and and go from there. Then, see if we can get her on court for actual practice at some point.”

Meanwhile, Nika Mühl will be back to limited minutes after playing all 40 in the loss to Oregon. Prior to the loss, the sophomore was restricted to 15 minutes in her first two games back from a foot injury before being allowed to play 25 minutes on Saturday against Xavier. But with the Huskies down to just three guards after Williams entered COVID protocols, Auriemma felt he had no choice but to keep her in the game on Monday.

“Nika shouldn’t be playing 40 minutes,” he said. “Obviously, that’s too many minutes. But unfortunately, that’s the situation we find ourselves in.”

“Nika won’t play 40 minutes, I guarantee you that,” he added later. “It’s not good for her now, next week, next month, long term.”

With Mühl limited, Caroline Ducharme and Evina Westbrook will likely have to play all 40 minutes as UConn’s two fully healthy guards remaining. The Huskies will also rely on the frontcourt of Olivia Nelson-Ododa, Dorka Juhász and Aaliyah Edwards to play together. Luckily, UConn has used a lineup with the trio on the floor together in seven games for a total of 25 minutes, according to CBB Analytics.

Along with the six aforementioned players, Amari DeBerry and Piath Gabriel will both be options on UConn’s bench. Paige Bueckers remains out after knee surgery while Aubrey Griffin is done for the year following back surgery.