Paige Bueckers is dealing with a jammed thumb and isn’t expected to participate in UConn’s First Night festivities, according to head coach Geno Auriemma. The team is still trying to figure out the severity of the injury but the coach is “hoping” it’s minor.
“I don’t think she was going to do anything tonight anyway. So it’s not like she’s missing anything,” Auriemma said. “She’s not going to practice tomorrow (Saturday), we have off Sunday, hopefully by Monday she’ll be fine. If not, then we’re gonna have to take a look at it.”
On Tuesday, the NCAA’s women’s basketball digital team visited Storrs and posted a clip to social media that showed Bueckers’ left thumb wrapped in tape.
Bueckers has been plagued with injuries for over two years now.
She underwent right ankle surgery to repair an osteochondral defect in April 2021 which kept her out for most of the ensuing summer. In December of that year, she suffered a tibial plateau fracture and lateral meniscus tear in the final moments of a win over Notre Dame which kept her out for over two months.
Then in August 2022, Bueckers suffered a torn ACL in a pick-up game on campus and missed the entire 2022-23 campaign as a result. She was finally cleared from the injury this past August but did not participate in UConn’s four exhibition contests in Europe.
While the thumb injury appears to be minor, it’s still another setback in Bueckers’ return.
As for the Huskies’ other injured players, Amari DeBerry returned to practice “a little bit” while Ayanna Patterson is still sidelined. DeBerry underwent back surgery in May while Patterson had a procedure done on her knee during the offseason. Both should be ready in time for the first game of the season on Nov. 8.
“We’re expecting to have both of them for opening day against Dayton,” Auriemma said.