UConn's Fudd to miss at least two weeks with foot injury
Storrs — A day after what the UConn women's basketball team had hoped was Azzi Fudd's breakout game against South Florida on Nov. 21, the freshman guard was limited to only 10 minutes of action against No. 1 South Carolina in part due to issues with her right foot.
Those issues were not resolved during the Huskies' break following their appearance in the Battle 4 Atlantis. Coach Geno Auriemma said Wednesday that Fudd will be shut down for at least two weeks with the hopes she'll get the foot healthy.
"It didn't look great. She wasn't getting up and down the floor great," Auriemma said. "It's been bothering her and we were trying to work at it, work at it, work at it. It's been bothering her since the summer. She's a tough kid. She never wants to sit out. She thinks she can do anything. She's been waiting all this time to play and she tried to play through it. And it's not working.
"We did more studies, more MRIs, more stuff, and she's not going to be playing for awhile. It's best to be cautious. It's a long season and even more importantly, it's a long career for her. We'll see in two weeks where it goes from there."
Second-ranked UConn (3-1) opens Big East play Friday at Seton Hall. The Huskies then host No. 24 Notre Dame Sunday at Gampel Pavilion before traveling to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech on Dec. 9 for Olivia Nelson-Ododa's homecoming game. They finish the stretch before the start of fall semester final exams by taking on UCLA in the Never Forget Tribute Classic in Newark, New Jersey Dec. 11.
The injury could open up playing time for sophomore Nika Muhl and freshman Caroline Ducharme but also could add pressure on them to perform.
"Sometimes that's good, sometimes added pressure is not good," Auriemma said. "It certainly means more playing time for them, more opportunities for them. That means we're asking more of them. They both can do it, obviously. They're both capable."
Fudd averaged 7.5 points and 2.3 rebounds in the Huskies' first four games. She had 18 points on six 3-pointers in the win over USF.
But the next day against the Gamecocks she struggled at both ends of the floor and did not score in her limited minutes.
"Next man up," UConn All-American Paige Bueckers said. "When somebody else's minutes are down that's when the next person steps up.
"It sucks missing any part of the season but we're going to need Azzi when it matters the most," Bueckers added.
On a positive note, junior forward Aubrey Griffin could return to action Friday at Seton Hall. She's missed UConn's four games with ankle and back problems.
Auriemma was pleased with the way the Huskies have practiced since returning from The Bahamas after their loss.
"I think we got a lot done," he said. "It might not show up, but we got a lot done. We made a tremendous amount of progress since we got back. It's been good, really, really, good."
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