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Injury Update: Geno expects Paige Bueckers to return this season

Geno Auriemma provided updates on UConn’s injured players including Bueckers, Caroline Ducharme, and Olivia Nelson-Ododa.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn women’s basketball earned a shorthanded win over DePaul on Friday night as both Caroline Ducharme and Olivia Nelson-Ododa sat once again. Ducharme has missed the last three games with a head injury while Nelson-Ododa sat out her second straight contest with a groin issue. Both players remain day-to-day, according to Geno Auriemma.

“One of the bad things about having a game every other day is you don’t get a chance to get healthy,” he lamented after the win over DePaul. “We’ll come out tomorrow, see how they feel. Then Sunday at shoot-around, we’ll see how they feel and then we’ll go from there.”

Meanwhile, Paige Bueckers met with UConn’s team doctors and her surgeon on Sunday, Feb. 6 to formulate a plan for her recovery after undergoing left knee surgery in December. Though she still wears a brace on the bench, Bueckers is slowly working her way back.

“She’s been doing more and more things every day. She’s running more. She’s doing more basketball stuff on the court, but it just doesn’t involve a lot of cutting. So it’s more just standstill or just moving this way,” Auriemma said. “Each and every day, there’s something that we try to add.”

While Bueckers hasn’t suffered any setbacks, there’s still no timetable for her return. Auriemma does believe she’ll be back this season, though.

“I asked her yesterday I said, ‘When are you going to play?’ and she said, ‘When I’m ready.’ I said, ‘When are going to be ready? She said ‘I’ll let you know when I’m ready,’” Auriemma relayed. “Athletes know their own bodies. They know when they’re ready.

“Do I think she’s gonna play this year? I do,” he added. “I really do. I’m not just hoping either. I think she’s going to play.”