Paige Bukers tore her cruciate ligaments in a basketball game and will miss the season

UConn star point guard Paige Buckers tore her left ACL on Monday and will miss the 2022-2023 women’s basketball season, the university announced Wednesday.

Bookers, a 20-year-old security guard from Minnesota, was injured during a basketball game, UC Connecticut officials said in a statement. The 5’11” junior will have surgery at UConn Health on Friday.

“It’s so crazy because you’re working so hard to come back healthy, you’re feeling stronger than ever and you’re playing your best basketball and in one sudden movement, everything changes,” Bukers wrote on Instagram. “It’s hard to try to understand all of this now, but I can’t help but think that God is using me as a testament to how much you can overcome with Him by your side.”

Typically, the recovery time for an anterior cruciate ligament injury is at least eight months.

“We are all devastated by Paige,” UC Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma said in a statement. “She has been working very hard to get stronger and healthier this offseason and it’s an unfortunate setback. Paige is definitely an amazing basketball player, but she is the best person and teammate and it’s a shame that this happened to her. We will miss her presence on the court, but she will do her best to continue to lead and help her teammates this season.”

bookers On December 11, she underwent surgery on her left knee. 13 to repair an anterior tibial plateau fracture and a torn lateral meniscus, both of which she sustained during a UConn game on December 20. 5 against Notre Dame.

She returned in late February and helped the University of California reach the national championship, in which she scored 14 points and six rebounds. in loss to South Carolina in Minneapolis.

During the national semi-finals against Stanford, she landed on her bad knee during a dropped ball challenge and then covered her face with her hands.

“Some things, like what happened last night, are more like momentary pain and you can just shake it off.” Buekers said then. “I was just warming up and trying to get back in the game as soon as possible.”

Bukers was named Associated Press and Naismith College Player of the Year in her freshman year of the 2020–21 season when she averaged 20.0 points, 5.7 assists and 4.9 rebounds.

“God put a dream in my heart and even if I have to go through a nightmare to make it come true, I will keep believing,” Bookers wrote on Instagram on Wednesday.