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Geno Auriemma will miss at least one more game for UConn

(David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma will miss his fourth game of the season due to illness, the school announced ahead of Thursday’s game against Xavier.

The 68-year-old coach, who is in his 38th season at the helm, previously missed back-to-back games on Dec. 18 and 21 and Tuesday’s 80-47 win against Butler.

“It’s been an extremely difficult month for me, and I’ve been feeling under the weather and run down,” he said in a statement. “I thought I was ready to return, but I need a little more time. I’m going to take a step back to focus on my health and will return when I feel ready.”

No timetable was provided for Auriemma’s return. The team only revealed he would “rejoin the team at a later date.”

Auriemma’s mother died on Dec. 8. A few weeks later, he began to experience flu-like symptoms ahead of the team’s 85-77 win against Florida State in December, so he sat out that game and stayed away from the team through the following game against Seton Hall.

He also missed Tuesday’s game due to illness.

In Auriemma’s place, associate head coach Chris Dailey has taken over head coaching duties. She has helped guide the No. 5 Huskies (12-2) through a tough stretch, as they continue to deal with player absences due to injury and illness.

“Every other day, we get one person back and then we lose one,” Dailey said Tuesday. “Then Coach isn’t feeling well. It makes you tougher. It makes you stronger as a group. You don’t have a choice… you have to figure it out. I think that’s what we’ve been doing.”

Just three players have appeared in every game for the Huskies: Aaliyah Edwards, Lou Lopez Sénéchal and Ayanna Patterson.

Azzi Fudd remains out with a knee injury, and Paige Bueckers is sidelined for the entire season while she recovers from an ACL tear. In the most recent blow, sophomore guard Caroline Ducharme sustained a concussion during practice Monday, sidelining her for at least the two games this week.

Dailey is 16-0 filling in for Auriemma in her career, including 3-0 this season — as Edwards made clear at Tuesday’s postgame press conference.