UConn's Paige Bueckers Has Surgery on Ankle Injury, Expected Back in September

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 2021

UConn's Paige Bueckers dribbles during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor in the Elite Eight round of the Women's NCAA tournament Monday, March 29, 2021, at the Alamodome in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Morry Gash/Associated Press

UConn announced star basketball player Paige Bueckers underwent surgery Friday to repair an osteochondral defect on her right ankle, per ESPN Women's Hoops.

She is expected to return by the start of preseason action in September.

Beuckers averaged 20.0 points, 5.8 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game last season on her way to becoming the Associated Press Women's Basketball Player of the Year—and the first freshman ever to win the award.

The guard was the clear go-to option for a team that reached the Final Four before losing to Arizona in the national semifinals.

Since 1995, every other winner has been a junior or senior except former UConn stars Maya Moore and Breanna Stewart, who both won as sophomores.

Bueckers' impressive performance in her first collegiate season wasn't enough to get the Huskies a title, but they will again go into next year with high expectations.

The team returns each of its top five scorers in Bueckers, Christyn Williams, Olivia Nelson-Ododa, Evina Westbrook and Aaliyah Edwards. The squad also adds No. 1 prospect Azzi Fudd, a guard, as part of the second-best recruiting class in the country, per Shane Laflin and Jason Key of ESPN.

As long as Bueckers is healthy, UConn has the talent to bring home its first title since 2016.

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