Aubrey Griffin will miss the rest of the 2023-24 season after suffering a torn ACL in her left knee during UConn’s win at Creighton on Jan. 3, the team announced on Wednesday. She will undergo surgery at UConn Health at a later, unspecified date.
In the third quarter of that game, Griffin pushed off her left leg to attempt a block but immediately crumpled to the floor. She couldn’t put any weight on the leg as she was taken off the court and into the locker room. Head coach Geno Auriemma relayed that Creighton’s doctor looked at Griffin and reported that the knee was “very unstable”.
It took nearly a week for the team to confirm the extent of the injury because it didn’t return to Connecticut until Sunday after flying straight to Georgetown from Creighton. Still, the season-ending diagnosis was expected.
“I don’t expect any good news,” Auriemma said on Wednesday. “I think everybody’s kind of ready for the worst.”
Griffin has one year of eligibility remaining.
“Aubrey asked me (if she had eligibility left) after the fact when things had settled down a little bit,” Auriemma said. “Now I don’t know whether she intends to (use it). That’s a decision down the road.”
Prior to the injury, Griffin had been playing the best basketball of her UConn career. During the team’s seven-game win streak, she averaged 12.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.0 steals against Division I competition.
In her career, Griffin put up 8.3 points and 5.7 rebounds across 110 games. Her career-high was 29 points against Princeton last season while her best rebounding total was 16 against Temple as a freshman. Griffin hit the double-digit points mark 42 times, the 10+ rebound threshold 11 times, and has 11 double-doubles to her name. She’s the Huskies’ longest-tenured player, having arrived in Storrs as part of the 2019 recruiting class.
Griffin has dealt with injuries throughout her basketball career. She tore her ACL in high school and missed her entire junior season at UConn due to a combination of ailments. First, she dealt with leg and ankle issues but those eventually started to clear up and she even warmed up before a few contests. Then she began dealing with back issues, resulting in back surgery to repair a disk issue in Jan. 2022.
UConn now has four players out for the rest of this season: Griffin, Azzi Fudd (torn ACL), Jana El Alfy (achilles), and Ayanna Patterson (knee surgery). The Huskies have also been without Caroline Ducharme (head) since Nov. 19 and it’s possible she could miss the remainder of the campaign as well.
Those aren’t the only significant injuries that UConn has dealt with over the last three years. Paige Bueckers missed the 2022-23 season with a torn ACL after being sidelined for 19 games the year before with a tibial plateau fracture and lateral meniscus tear. Fudd sat out the majority of 2022-23 with knee injuries and didn’t play in 11 games as a freshman due to a foot issue.
Dorka Juhász fractured her wrist in the 2022 Elite Eight then broke her thumb and missed 29 games the next season. Ducharme couldn’t play for 14 games due to a concussion last season, not to mention the time she missed as a freshman due to head injuries. Patterson also suffered a concussion that kept her out seven games last season.
UConn currently has nine healthy players available. The Huskies’ next game is Wednesday, Jan. 10 against Providence at the XL Center.