UConn's Paige Bueckers Out 8 Weeks After Undergoing Surgery on Knee Injury

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 14, 2021

NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 11: UConn Huskies guard Paige Bueckers (5) looks on prior to the first half of the Never Forget Tribute Classic womens college basketball game between UCLA and UConn on December 11, 2021 at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The UConn women's basketball team will be without arguably the best player in the nation for the foreseeable future.

The school announced Paige Bueckers underwent surgery Monday to address an anterior tibial plateau fracture and lateral meniscus tear she suffered during a win over Notre Dame on Dec. 5.

She is expected to be out for eight weeks, which would put her on track for a return in February before the season's stretch run and the NCAA tournament.

The Huskies improved to 5-1 with the win over the Fighting Irish, although they are just 1-1 without Bueckers.

They lost by 13 points to Georgia Tech before defeating UCLA without their star player. It won't get any easier with a showdown against No. 6 Louisville on Sunday, and they also play No. 1 South Carolina on Jan. 27 and No. 7 Tennessee on Feb. 6.

UConn lost to the Gamecocks by 16 points in November when Bueckers was on the floor, so winning the rematch without her is a daunting proposition.

The sophomore guard is averaging 21.2 points, 6.2 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 2.7 steals per game through six games this season. She is also shooting a blistering 56.3 percent from the field, although her three-point percentage is 31.0 after shooting 46.4 percent last season.

Bueckers helped lead the Huskies to the Final Four as a freshman, and her individual brilliance is likely the storied program's best chance at taking home its 12th national championship.

For now, UConn will look to tread water with a number of high-profile showdowns looming while its star player is sidelined.