The health of sophomore Azzi Fudd has been the main topic of conversation surrounding UConn this season. The star guard injured her knee, returned, and then was sidelined once more.
The guard’s status becomes even more important as the Huskies begin the Big East tournament at noon Saturday and then move on to the NCAA tournament, where they have a streak of 14 consecutive Final Fours on the line.
Fudd played in seven games to start the season before injuring her knee in a 74-60 loss to Notre Dame on Dec. 4. The guard returned for two contests – wins against St. John’s and Georgetown – but only played 12 minutes against the Hoyas before reinjuring her knee. She has been out since then.
Before her injuries, Fudd was her team’s leading scorer, scoring 17.9 points per game. She shot 53.4% from the field, 43.4% from beyond the arc and 92.3% from the free throw line in her limited time.
Before Fudd returned to play on Jan. 11 and 15, UConn had a clear timeline for her recovery. But after her latest injury, the program has not offered information on her potential return.
The sophomore did participate in warmups before Monday’s senior night win over Xavier. Though she did not play, her presence on the court seems to indicate an imminent return. UConn coach Geno Auriemma, though, did not offer any assurances after the win.
“It’s not going to be an easy transition if it does happen at all,” Auriemma said of the possibility of Fudd returning to the lineup. “But at the same time, if it does happen, it’s better than if it doesn’t happen.”
The star guard has been working out with assistant coach Morgan Valley, and Auriemma said Fudd has told him, “I’ll be ready when I’m ready.”
UConn opens the Big East Tournament on March 4 at Mohegan Sun Arena, with the team’s opponent still to be determined.