Leg fracture sidelines UConn Huskies star

December 7, 2021
UConn Huskies guard Paige Bueckers (5) is helped off the court after an injury in the second half against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion.


Connecticut Huskies women’s basketball will be without the reigning National Player of the Year for up to two months.

MRI and CT scans showed sophomore guard Paige Bueckers suffered a fractured tibial plateau against Notre Dame on Sunday, according to the team. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons defines a fractured tibial plateau as “a fracture, or break, in the shinbone just below the knee.” 

The expected recovery time for Bueckers is 6-8 weeks, the team said.

The No. 2 Huskies (5-1) were putting the finishing touches on a 72-54 victory against the Fighting Irish when Bueckers stumbled while dribbling up the court in the game’s final minute. Buckers landed awkwardly on her left leg and appeared to twist her ankle. She had to be carried off the court and helped into the locker room. 

“It would be really hard to describe how much basketball means to Paige and how much her teammates mean to her,” Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma said in a statement. “Not being able to do the thing that she loves to do, to be there for her teammates, is really difficult for her.

As the top-ranked recruit in the Class of 2020, Bueckers immediately impressed during her first collegiate season. She became the first freshman to win the Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy, AP Player of the Year and USBWA Player of the Year and also led Huskies in points, assists, steals and 3-point field goal percentage. 

Through six games this season, Bueckers averaged 21.6 points and 6.2 assists. 

Bueckers’ long-term health will be the priority, Auriemma said in his statement.

“Every decision made will prioritize what’s best for Paige and her career,” he said. “Everyone involved with this program will be there to support Paige through her healing process.” 

Bueckers signed two prominent name, image and likeness deals since rules allowed for such agreements. She first signed with footwear and apparel marketplace StockX, and then became the first college athlete to represent Gatorade. 

Contributing: Associated Press

Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.


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