Connecticut star Paige Bueckers will miss the upcoming college basketball season after suffering a torn ACL in her left knee this week, the university announced Wednesday.
“We’re all devastated for Paige. She’s worked really hard to get stronger and healthier this offseason, and this is an unfortunate setback,” Coach Geno Auriemma said in a statement. “Paige is obviously an amazing basketball player but she’s a better person and teammate and it’s really unfortunate that this has happened to her. We’ll miss her presence on the court, but she’ll do everything she can to still lead and help her teammates this season. Our program will support Paige through her healing process to help her come back better and stronger.”
After bursting onto the college basketball scene as a freshman in 2020, Bueckers quickly established herself as one of the best players in the women’s game, earning all-American and national player of the year honors en route to a Final Four appearance that season.
But injuries, which occasionally sidelined Bueckers during her high school career, have become more disruptive during her time at U-Conn.
Bueckers had surgery on her right ankle in May 2021 to repair an osteochondral defect but returned in time for the start of last season, during which she led the team in points, assists, steals and minutes per game through the first month of the season.
On Dec. 5, Bueckers injured her left knee while dribbling up the court in the waning moments of a blowout win over Notre Dame. MRI and CT scans later revealed a tibial plateau fracture that sidelined her for close to three months. Bueckers returned in late February and led the Huskies to the national championship game, scoring 14 points in a loss to South Carolina. She finished the year at 14.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game.