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UConn's Paige Bueckers tears ACL in pick-up basketball game

Bueckers will miss the entire 2022-23 season after tearing her ACL, according to UConn.
Credit: AP
UConn's Paige Bueckers reacts after a college basketball game in the semifinal round of the Women's Final Four NCAA tournament Friday, April 1, 2022, in Minneapolis. UConn won 63-58 to advance to the finals. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

MINNEAPOLIS — A homegrown Minnesota's basketball star will miss the upcoming NCAA season after tearing her ACL earlier this week, the University of Connecticut announced Wednesday.

Junior guard Paige Bueckers suffered the injury to her left knee Monday during a pick-up basketball game, UConn said in a press release. Bueckers underwent an MRI scan Monday to verify the torn ligament. She will miss the 2022-2023 regular season.

Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma said in a statement that the team is devastated for Bueckers, and that she had worked hard during the off-season to get "stronger and healthier" following a knee joint fracture last season. 

"This is an unfortunate setback," he said. "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."

Bueckers will have surgery on the knee Friday at UConn Health, according to the university. After the surgery, the school will provide an update on the timetable for her recovery.

In an Instagram post, Bueckers said it's been difficult trying to make sense of the sudden season-ending injury.

"It’s so so crazy because you work so hard to get back healthy, you feel stronger than ever, and you are playing your best basketball and with one sudden movement it all shifts," she wrote.

"There is going to be good days and there is going to be bad days but my absolute love for the game and Godly strength will get me back to where I need to be," Bueckers added.

Last season, the former Hopkins High School star helped lead the UConn Huskies to the NCAA D1 women's basketball national championship game. UConn went on to lose to the South Carolina Gamecocks 64-49 and Bueckers ended with a team-leading 14 points on 6-for-13 shooting. She also had six rebounds, two assists, one block and one steal against South Carolina.

"We'll miss her presence on the court, but she'll do everything she can to still lead and help her teammates this season," Auriemma added. "Our program will support Paige through her healing process to help her come back better and stronger."

Credit: AP
UConn's Paige Bueckers tries to get past South Carolina's Destanni Henderson during the first half of a college basketball game in the final round of the Women's Final Four NCAA tournament Sunday, April 3, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

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