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Azzi Fudd to miss 3-6 weeks with knee injury

UConn women’s basketball’s injury luck just keeps getting worse.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn women’s basketball guard Azzi Fudd will miss three to six weeks with a right knee injury, the team announced on Tuesday. The injury occurred in the first quarter of the Huskies’ loss to Notre Dame on Sunday.

As Fudd went to shoot, Aaliyah Edwards was pushed and fell into her leg, which caused the sophomore’s right knee to twist awkwardly. She attempted to continue playing but struggled to move up and down the court and went to the bench. After being treated by team athletic trainer Janelle Francisco and going back to the locker room, Fudd briefly returned in the second quarter but came out after just a few minutes. She did not play in the second half.

Fudd underwent an evaluation on Monday and an MRI confirmed the injury. UConn did not provide any specifics.

The loss of Fudd is a major blow to the Huskies. She came into Sunday averaging 24.0 points per game and had established herself as UConn’s go-to player. Now, the Huskies have just four healthy guards on the roster: Nika Mühl, Lou Lopez Sénéchal, Caroline Ducharme, and Inês Bettencourt.

Lopez Sénéchal’s 17.4 points are second-most behind Fudd but after her, UConn hasn’t gotten much scoring out of its guards. Mühl has thrived as a passer with 10.1 assists per game but has only averaged 5.4 points per game. Ducharme has struggled after dealing with neck stiffness early in the year and has averaged 5.5 points per game — though she did drop 15 points against Iowa. Bettencourt has only played 5.3 minutes and scored her first points on Friday vs. Providence.

Aubrey Griffin will likely be asked to play more around the perimeter with Fudd out. She’s been one of UConn’s biggest surprises so far, averaging 11.7 points per game while occasionally showing a shooting touch from the outside, though she struggled against Notre Dame.

As a freshman, Fudd missed 11 games with a foot injury and in high school, she suffered a torn ACL and MCL while playing 3x3 basketball. This is the second straight year UConn’s star player has gone down with a knee injury against Notre Dame. Last season, Paige Bueckers suffered a tibial plateau fracture and lateral meniscus tear in her left knee in the final seconds of the Huskies’ win over the Irish at Gampel Pavilion.

Fudd’s injury is just the latest UConn has dealt with this year. Bueckers (torn ACL) and Ice Brady (dislocated patella) are already out for the season while Dorka Juhász (broken thumb) has missed the last five games.

The Huskies return to action on Thursday against Princeton at Gampel Pavilion.