Geno Auriemma doesn’t expect Paige Bueckers to return in any of UConn women’s basketball’s three remaining regular season games.
“There’s there’s some really good days where she feels like ‘I could play tomorrow.’ And then there’s days where she’s reminded, ‘No you can’t,’” he said after the Huskies’ win over Georgetown on Sunday. “So there’s more good days than not but she’s not going to be playing in this coming week. Let’s put it that way. You’re not going to see here, Wednesday, Friday or Sunday.”
Assuming that holds true, that means Bueckers will be out for the remainder of the regular season as the Huskies finish the game with Marquette on Wednesday, St. John’s on Friday and Providence on Sunday.
The Big East Tournament begins for UConn on Saturday, March 5, but there’s still no guarantee Bueckers will be back for that, either.
“What’s the Big East Tournament look like? I don’t know,” Auriemma said. “We’ll see. I said this before: When when you’re coming off an injury, the only person that knows when it’s time is the athlete themselves and you have to get to a point where you trust it and you feel confident in it. That’s probably the last thing to come.”
Bueckers did not wear her knee brace during pregame warmups or on the sidelines during the game on Sunday.
Paige Bueckers doesn’t have her knee brace on during warmups and appears to be moving around pretty well pic.twitter.com/HFaznw6GT6— Daniel Connolly (@DanielVConnolly) February 20, 2022
She only returned to team drills for the first time on Wednesday. Prior to that, Bueckers had only been allowed to shoot and work on “mobility testing”.
As a team, the Huskies are getting healthier, though. Sunday was the second game in a row — and just the third time since November — that everyone except Bueckers and Aubrey Griffin were available.
“We’re still missing the most important part of the team, but like, she’s coming back,” Nika Mühl said. “She’s coming back soon, so we can’t wait for that, too. But yeah, it’s good to have everybody healthy and contributing.”