Paige Bueckers rips ACL in basketball game, will miss season

UConn star point guard Paige Bueckers tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee on Monday and will miss the 2022-23 women’s basketball season, the university announced Wednesday.

Bueckers, a 20-year-old guard from Minnesota, was injured in a basketball game, UConn officials said in a statement. The 5-foot-11 junior will have surgery Friday at UConn Health.

“It’s so crazy because you’re working so hard to get healthy, you’re feeling stronger than ever, and you’re playing your best basketball and with one sudden movement, everything changes,” Bueckers wrote on Instagram. “It’s hard trying to make sense of it all now, but I can’t help but feel that God is using me as a testimony to all you can overcome with Him by your side.”

In general, the recovery time from an ACL injury is at least eight months.

“We are all devastated for Paige,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said in a statement. “She’s worked really hard to get stronger and healthier this offseason, and it’s an unfortunate setback. Paige is obviously an amazing basketball player, but she’s a better person and a better teammate and that’s such a shame this happened to her, her presence on the pitch will be missed but she will do everything she can to continue to lead and help her teammates this season.

Bueckers had surgery on his left knee on December 2. 13 to repair an anterior tibial plateau fracture and lateral meniscus tear she suffered during the UConn game on Dec. 13. 5 against Notre Dame.

She returned in late February and helped lead UConn to the national championship game, in which she scored 14 points and six rebounds. in a loss to South Carolina in Minneapolis.

In the national semi-final against Stanford, she landed on her bad knee in a scuffle for a ball jump, then covered her face with her hands.

“Some things, like what happened last night, are more of a pain in the moment and you can just get over it,” Bueckers said then. “I was just stretching and making sure I could get back into the game as soon as possible.”

Bueckers was named Associated Press and Naismith College Rookie Player of the Year for the 2020-21 season, averaging 20.0 points, 5.7 assists and 4.9 rebounds.

“God put a dream in my heart and even though I have to go through a nightmare to get it, I will keep believing it,” Bueckers wrote on Instagram Wednesday.