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Paige Bueckers: 'I'm not leaving'

Bueckers says she "will be playing college basketball again" after her season-ending knee injury prior to the upcoming college basketball season.

STORRS, Connecticut — Paige Bueckers spoke to the media on Thursday, addressing her left knee injury that resulted in an ACL tear. Bueckers had surgery in August that will sideline her for the 2022-23 season.

"I've been able to walk a lot more, which was really good for me," Bueckers explained. "So just being able to do stuff on your own and not having to rely too much on other people was really a big step for me."

Bueckers elaborated on what her rehabilitation process entails.

RELATED: Portuguese guard added to UConn women's ranks after loss of Bueckers

"I'm biking now and I'll be in the pool soon. So all that stuff is great. And then I got cleared for chair workout. So anything I can do on the basketball court is extremely therapeutic for me. So I think all of those are really big steps." 

As far as any questions concerning whether or not she intends on trying to see the court at some point this season, Bueckers also addressed that.

"I'm not gonna play the season just because if I come back too soon, somebody else is gonna get injured and I really just want to be like honored temper so healthy for every play basketball game. 

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Bueckers detailed the moments the injury occurred.

"It was in pick-up. I was going full speed and I sort of tried to come to a stop. It was some contact, not a lot of contact, but it just kind of gave up. It's been tough."

As far as her mindset throughout all of this, Bueckers admits that it was challenging to process at first.

"The first couple of weeks are tough just trying to process it and it didn't feel like real life. There was some anxiety, some stress and a lot of things are going on. But when I had surgery, that was kind of the veteran point for me to sort of know that every day from here on out is a day closer to me playing basketball. So it's been a process but I feel like I've handled it pretty well and I think it's only up from here."

RELATED: UConn's Paige Bueckers undergoes 'successful' ACL surgery, starts rehab

Bueckers is eligible for the 2023 WNBA draft, however, she said her collegiate career is not finished.

"From the injury, I really put things into perspective. Just trying to take everything day-by-day. But I'm not leaving. I'm not leaving. That is not in the question. But people ask me what are you thinking about. Fifth year, COVID year, redshirting this year. I'm not thinking too far ahead about that at all. But I will be playing college basketball again."


Jonah Karp is a meteorologist at FOX61 News. He can be reached at jkarp@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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