UConn guard Azzi Fudd to miss remainder of season with ACL, meniscus tears

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - MARCH 25: Azzi Fudd #35 of the UConn Huskies looks on during the second quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament at Climate Pledge Arena on March 25, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Azzi Fudd is out for the season. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

The proverbial injury bug is biting the Huskies relentlessly.

UConn star Azzi Fudd will miss the remainder of the 2023-24 season after suffering ACL and medial meniscal tears in her right knee, the team announced Wednesday.

Fudd got hurt during practice last week and watched the Huskies' last two games from the bench as No. 6 UConn notched wins over Maryland and Minnesota. Fudd will undergo surgery at UConn Health.

This is the latest development in a tough bout of injuries for the junior guard. She tore the right ACL and MCL before her collegiate career began. She also injured her right knee after colliding with a teammate in December 2022. She missed eight games before making a brief comeback a month later. But she reinjured her knee against Georgetown in her second game back. Fudd missed playing time during her freshman season, as well. She sustained a foot injury and was still able to contribute a team-leading 43% shooting average from 3 en route to the 2022 Big East All-Freshman Team.

"We're all just so upset for Azzi," head coach Geno Auriemma said in a statement. "She worked hard to be healthy for this season, and it's unfortunate when you put in a lot of hard work and have a setback like this. Azzi loves the game and works tirelessly. I'm confident she'll rehab with the same work ethic and come back better than ever. We'll obviously miss her presence on the court, but Azzi will continue to be a great teammate and important part of this team this season. Our program will support Azzi through her recovery however we can."

Fudd's prognosis is also another blow for a program that was riddled with injuries last season. At one point in the 2022-23 campaign, UConn was down to just eight healthy players. Before the season even started, the Huskies lost freshman forward Isuneh “Ice” Brady, who was ranked as the fifth-highest recruit in her class by ESPN. She had to undergo surgery after sustaining a dislocated patella in her right knee during an October practice with the Huskies.

The headliner was former National Player of the Year Paige Bueckers' torn ACL, which kept her out for the entire 2022-23 campaign.

In 42 career games for Auriemma, Fudd has averaged 13.1 points. She and Bueckers were highly sought-after in high school. After expectations they would be a powerhouse duo in Storrs, they have played together in only 17 games over three seasons due to their injuries. Unfortunately, that won't change this season.

The team will also go without freshman center Jana El Alfy, who is redshirting due to an Achilles injury she suffered in July.