As UConn women’s basketball has gone through its summer workouts over the last month, Azzi Fudd has mostly had to watch from the sidelines. Since the end of the season, the rising sophomore has been mending her right foot, which has bothered her since last summer and forced her to miss 11 games during her freshman campaign.
“Now that there has been time, I’ve actually had time to heal it the right way,” Fudd said. “So my goal is to start the season off healthy.”
As a result, she’s been mostly limited to individual sessions with the coaching staff, though she participated in her first team workout last week. It’s been a long recovery — the season ended almost three months ago — but that’s a product of how Fudd treated the injury after she sustained it last offseason.
“We’re early in the offseason and last year I rushed it and I had to sit out for a few months, however long I sat out, and had to play with pain still,” she said. “I learned my lesson and I’m trying to be mature about this and just kind of take the time that I need and not do too much.”
At this point, the hardest part for Fudd is waiting. She’s almost pain-free and is getting better with each passing week but there’s no timeline for when she’ll be back at 100 percent, it’s all dependent on how she feels. For now, Fudd just has to be patient.
“It’s been a little frustrating because it’s been a lot of time. There’s like nothing I can really do to help speed up the process and I hate having to wait for this kind of stuff,” she said. “It’s been a little bit slow but it’s picking up so I’m really happy. I’m feeling good so far, knock on wood. Everything’s going well.”
Fudd declined to discuss the specifics of the injury — “in my foot” is how she described it — though Geno Auriemma called it a “stress reaction” when it sidelined her back in December. The good news is there are no new problems — it’s all the same issue that’s hampered her since last June — and there’s still plenty of offseason left.
This is the time of year to get healthy. Not only does Fudd want to be better for this upcoming campaign, but she also wants to be sure the foot won’t affect the rest of her career.
“Not only am I looking forward to playing healthy this season but I want to play my next three seasons here and I want to be able to play professionally after,” she said. “It’s not worth risking my body for the next few seasons.”