UConn's Geno Auriemma gives encouraging update on star PG Paige Bueckers

Feb 25, 2022; Hartford, Connecticut, USA; UConn Huskies guard Paige Bueckers (5) reacts after her first basket after returning to the court from a knee injury against the St. John's Red Storm in the first half at XL Center.

UConn women’s basketball star Paige Bueckers is at “90 percent” in her recovery from a torn ACL, and head coach Geno Auriemma told reporters Tuesday that he he expects her to be ready for the start of the regular season.

“If she's not ready to go by then, then I'm not ready to go,” Auriemma said at his annual charity golf tournament. “Let's put it that way.”

Bueckers, who suffered the ACL tear back in August of 2022, recently told reporters that she feels she’s “very close” to being fully cleared to return and she can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

While she still hasn’t received the all clear, Auriemma has been impressed with what he’s already seen from the 21-year-old.

“This is the best she’s ever been. This is the strongest she’s ever been, the fittest she’s ever been. This is the most time she’s ever spent working on her body, her mind, and just taking care of herself,” Auriemma said.

“She’s way ahead, and that’s what the year off did. It showed her if you want a long career, this is how you’re gonna have to go about it from here on out. This is what you’re going to have to do and she’s embraced it.”

Bueckers took home the National Player of the Years during her freshman season, but has battled injuries ever since. With her sidelined last season, the Huskies finished 31-6 and fell to Ohio State in the Sweet 16.

Now with her back out there, Auriemma says the goal is the same as it always is: "To win a National Championship every year, everybody knows it, we don't have to talk about it."