UConn's Paige Bueckers Considering Surgery on Knee Injury, Could Extend Recovery Time

Adam WellsDecember 11, 2021

Connecticut's Paige Bueckers in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, in Storrs, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
AP Photo/Jessica Hill

Connecticut women's basketball star Paige Bueckers is considering knee surgery that would keep her out longer than original estimates. 

Head coach Geno Auriemma told reporters on Saturday that Bueckers is going to "solicit a couple other opinions" before deciding whether or not to have surgery to repair her tibial plateau fracture. 

"And then the next step is there's either going to be surgery or there's not going to be surgery," Auriemma added. "And that's gotta happen relatively soon. Yes or no."

The Huskies announced on Tuesday that Bueckers would miss six to eight weeks. 

Bueckers was injured late in the second half of UConn's 73-54 win over Notre Dame on Dec. 5. 

While dribbling the ball, her left leg buckled. She passed the ball to a teammate before collapsing on the court. Teammates and coaches carried her to the locker room. 

Dr. Jessica Flynn, who provides injury analysis for the Boston Sports Journal, added context for the type of injury Bueckers suffered:

DocFlynn @DocFlynnNFL

Paige Bueckers sustained a non-contact hyperextension knee injury. This mechanism of injury can cause bone bruising, the most extreme form of which is a crack in the bone. Depending on severity, important to let this fully heal before resuming basketball. <a href="https://t.co/4NfH0MAgGV">https://t.co/4NfH0MAgGV</a> <a href="https://t.co/9YsTMsjMq6">pic.twitter.com/9YsTMsjMq6</a>

Former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant suffered a similar injury during the 2013-14 season that was expected to keep him out for six weeks. He didn't undergo surgery but was unable to return before the end of the season. 

Bueckers, the reigning Associated Press and Naismith Player of the Year winner, was averaging 21.2 points, 6.2 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game in six starts this season. 

Dorka Juhasz has been inserted into the starting lineup with Bueckers on the shelf. The Hungary native scored a season-high 16 points on 5-of-5 shooting and grabbed 16 rebounds in Saturday's 71-61 win over UCLA. 

The Huskies are ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll with a 6-2 record.