Injury Updates On UCLA Womens Basketball, Timetable For Key Players Returns

With the losses starting to pile up, the Bruins are still without several key rotational pieces.

That could change in the coming weeks, though.

UCLA women's basketball (5-4, 0-1 Pac-12) guard Gina Conti, guard Camryn Brown, forward Angela Dugalic and forward Brynn Masikewich have been missing since the start of the season with a laundry list of injuries. Two months into the campaign, there is finally hope that they could make their returns, according to coach Cori Close.

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But with so many delays in their recovery processes already, Close was not overly hopeful in providing accurate timelines when talking to the media Thursday.

"I do expect us to get a couple players back in the next couple of weeks, but I'll believe it when it happens," Close said. "That's what we're hoping for, for sure." 

Conti went down right before the start of the season with a foot injury that required surgery, and she was on crutches for over a month. Conti averaged 13.8 points, 4.8 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game with Wake Forest in 2020-2021, but has yet to appear in a game since transferring to UCLA.

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News of Dugalic's injury came out at the same time in early November, as she suffered a knee contusion during the Bruins' trip to Texas for a preseason scrimmage. The Oregon transfer, therefore, also has yet to play a game in blue and gold.

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When UCLA first announced those two injuries, they were projected to be out "several weeks." It has been nine weeks since then.

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Masikewich, meanwhile, has played a game in a UCLA uniform, but not in nearly two years. The Canadian-born post player played seven games for the Bruins in the 2019-2020 season, only to suffer a knee injury and miss the entire 2020-2021 campaign rehabbing.

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Brown played in 24 games and started once back in 2019-2020, only to miss most of 2020-2021 with injuries alongside Masikewich. Brown has spent this year as a cheerleader on the bench, but she could be back on the court for the first time in a year in the coming games.

In terms of who comes back and when, Close had a pecking order for how she thinks things will pan out. 

"It's hard to know, exactly," Close said. "I think we probably are looking at Brynn, Cam, Angela, then Gina in that order."

Without those four – plus forward Emily Bessoir, who tore her ACL in October – UCLA has been working with a drastically shortened rotation so far in their up-and-down season. The Bruins opened the year with a seven-player rotation, which grew to eight when guard Chantel Horvat returned to play early on.

Close came into this season expecting to have a deep rotation with options and the ability to experiment, but she has instead been backed into a corner due to injuries for the second-straight year. 

When the quartet of recovering Bruins make their impending returns, that reality can finally come to fruition. UCLA won't have any of them back in time for Friday's game against Washington, though, and that contest will tip off at 7 p.m. from Pauley Pavilion.

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Source : https://www.si.com/college/ucla/womens-basketball/injury-updates-on-ucla-wbb-timetable-for-key-players-returns

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