Over a year after UConn Huskies star Paige Bueckers had surgery on her left knee to repair her ACL, she announced on social media Wednesday that she had been cleared to return to action.
Bueckers was limited to just 17 games her sophomore year due to injury and then missed all of her junior year with the torn ACL.
But the 2020-21 women’s college basketball national player of the year seemed ready to get going this year on her Instagram post.
“All cleared and ready for takeoff. 369 days… GOD DID!” she wrote.
Bueckers underwent the procedure on Aug. 5, 2022, and had been working her way back since.
In June, she told reporters that she was partaking in all basketball activities aside from 5-on-5 work, according to ESPN.
She also said at the time that she was “feeling really good.”
UConn head coach Geno Auriemma said during his annual Geno For The Kids charity golf event in June that Bueckers was expected to be ready for the start of the upcoming season.
Auriemma also praised Buekckers’ work during her recovery.
“This is the best she’s ever been, the strongest she’s ever been, the fittest she’s ever been,” Auriemma said at the time, ESPN reported. “This is the most time she has spent working on her body, her mind, [and] just taking care of herself. … [The injury layoff] showed her, if you want a long career, this is how you’re gonna have to go about it from here on in injuries, no injuries, it doesn’t matter. This is what you’re gonna have to do. And she’s embraced it.”
The Huskies have been one of the most storied programs in women’s college basketball, but they failed to reach the Final Four this past season for the first time in 14 years.
It was the school’s earliest postseason exit since 2005.
She averaged 20 points and 5.7 assists during her impressive freshman campaign before scoring 14.6 points per night during her second year at UConn.