If all goes well over the next day or so, UConn women’s basketball might get Christyn Williams back on Wednesday night at DePaul. After missing the last three games due to COVID-19 protocols, the senior is trending towards a return — albeit on limited minutes.
“If Christyn feels alright tomorrow, she’ll be able to give us some minutes,” Geno Auriemma said during a Zoom call with reporters on Tuesday. “I’m looking at at least a couple minutes. I don’t know how many.”
Williams entered COVID protocols on Sunday, Jan. 16 and missed the Huskies’ loss to Oregon the next day. She also missed the win over Seton Hall last Friday but returned to the bench on Sunday at St. John’s.
Following the win over the Red Storm, Auriemma explained that the decision to get Williams — and anyone else who enters COVID protocols — back into game action is largely out of his control.
“Before you can practice you have to go through a period to get ‘re-acclimated’ I guess they call it,” he said. “I think that’s usually four or five days and then I don’t know whether you can play the fifth day, the sixth day. I don’t know.”
While UConn didn’t practice on Monday, Williams “got a little bit of a workout in” on her own and is expected to participate in some team activities on Tuesday.
As for Azzi Fudd, the freshman is “not ready to go,” according to the coach. However, the remaining hurdle appears to be more a matter of her conditioning rather than anything to do with her injured foot.
“It’s been a long time since she’s played basketball,” Auriemma said. “It’s gonna take a little bit to get back into playing shape. She was out there working on some stuff yesterday and she’s going to work out a little bit more today and better build on it every day, I hope.”
Fudd has missed the last 11 games due to a stress reaction in her foot. The last time she played was back on Nov. 22 — the loss to South Carolina in the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Inside the South Carolina cancelation
UConn is only heading out to DePaul on Wednesday because of a surprising change in the schedule. The Huskies were supposed to travel to South Carolina on Thursday but the two schools ultimately decided to cancel the game so both teams could make-up conference games.
Auriemma went into further detail about how it all unfolded.
“Dawn [Staley] texted me on Saturday saying that she wanted to talk to me about the game and I didn’t get back to her until sometime Sunday. She had brought it up and I said, ‘I don’t know if we can do it, I’ll have to check with our AD, I’ll have to check with the conference office...
“So I let them work on all that and then by the time the game (at St. John’s) was over, they had changed the game and they scrambled to find us an opponent. It didn’t take very long, that’s for sure.”