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Aubrey Griffin to undergo back surgery Monday, likely out for season

The junior hasn’t played yet this year due to a combination of ankle, leg and back injuries.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

After UConn women’s basketball’s win over Creighton, Geno Auriemma that junior Aubrey Griffin will undergo surgery on Monday to repair a disk in her back.

“That’s been a problem for a while,” he said. “What’s the exact name of it? I don’t know.”

Griffin is likely to miss the remainder of the season while recovering from the operation.

“I think that chances are pretty high that she’s not going to be playing the rest of the season,” Auriemma said.

The original story from Friday, Jan. 7 is below.

UConn women’s basketball junior Aubrey Griffin will likely miss the rest of the season due to a disk injury in her back, head coach Geno Auriemma revealed on Friday.

“She’s been dealing with with a disc injury in her back and there’s a good possibility that she’s gonna need surgery on that,” he said. “I don’t envision her being back the rest of the season.”

Griffin hasn’t played this season due to a combination of injuries. She initially suffered a high-ankle sprain in October and also dealt with a leg issue. Ahead of the team’s game at Seton Hall, Auriemma told reporters that Griffin would play a few minutes but reversed course the next day and downgraded her to out.

“We thought she was going to be good to go this weekend and our athletic trainer, Janelle [Francisco] told me today after watching her go through some things in practice a little bit...she said, ‘[Aubrey’s] not going to be available this weekend,” Auriemma told 97.9 ESPN at the time. “It’s just been one thing after another for the poor kid. Her ankle, her leg, her back, it’s just a lot. I don’t want to put anybody out there that’s not 100 percent. It’s a long season.”

Griffin tried to practice for a day or two in the lead up to UConn’s matchup with Louisville in December but had to shut back down as a result.

“It doesn’t look good right now,” Auriemma said about Griffin on 97.9 ESPN at the time. “It’s been some muscle pain that keeps flaring up and they’re trying to address it and trying every different treatment. We can’t seem to get to the bottom of it.”

“Aubrey’s had more more tests the last couple of days,” the coach told reporters the next day. “She gave it a shot for a day or two and it just didn’t respond. So I can’t even give you what a timeline looks like as far as Aubrey’s concerned.”

If Griffin does ultimately go under the knife and misses the rest of the season, it’ll be a tough blow for the Huskies. While they’ve managed without her, the junior’s combination of size at 6-foot-1, length and athleticism is hard to replace. In her first two years at UConn, Griffin has excelled on the glass and as a defensive disruptor who can also explode for a big scoring night every now and then.

Assuming she does not return this season, Griffin will redshirt and have three years of eligibility remaining.