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Notre Dame's Achonwa out with a knee injury

AP - Sports

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- Notre Dame forward Natalie Achonwa is likely out for more than a month with a knee injury.

Achonwa underwent surgery last week for a small meniscus tear in her right knee, coach Muffet McGraw said Wednesday after the Irish beat California, Pa., 118-49 in an exhibition game. She is expected to be out four to six weeks, McGraw said, which would mean she would be back before the Irish enter their inaugural season in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The 6-foot-3 senior averaged 13.8 points and 9.5 rebounds last season. McGraw said she hopes freshman Taya Reimer can help fill the void until Achonwa returns, but said the Irish need someone else to step forward to help ease the load.

''We need a 1-2 punch in the post and right now we've just got that one punch,'' McGraw said.

The 6-3 Reimer was perfect in the exhibition game, going 11-of-11 from the floor and making all five free throw attempts. She also had six rebounds and three assists.

Guard Kayla McBride, who was second on the team in scoring last season at 15.9 points a game, also sat out the Wednesday night with a sprained ankle and 6-1 forward Ariel Braker (5.4 points a game) sat out with a sore knee. McGraw said McBride and Braker are expected to return to practice on Saturday and be ready for the season-opener against North Carolina-Wilmington on Nov. 9.

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