Sophomore center Kiah Stokes will miss her fifth straight game Saturday due to a stress reaction in her right shin when the Huskies host No. 5 Notre Dame at Gampel Pavilion. However, there have been signs of progress that she is nearing a return.
UConn coach Geno Auriemma said that Stokes has been able to spend some time on the court today and Thursday. Stokes participated in individual workouts and did “a little halfcourt stuff.’’
“She’s been getting her workouts in and she’s had two days, yesterday and today, where’s she was on the court for maybe 15, 20 minutes,’’ Auriemma said. “And she actually felt pretty good she said. So we’re getting closer to having her out on the floor. I don’t know that tomorrow’s the day. Probably not, my guess is. But we’re getting closer and hopefully sooner rather than later. She could be a big help to us right now.
“Now it’s just a matter of how does she respond to those workouts that she did? Does she come out of those workouts feeling great? Does she come out of those workouts struggling? So far it’s been all good.’’
Stokes still has not been able to take part in fullcourt activity. And she has faced little contact.
“She’s looked great,’’ UConn junior center Stefanie Dolson said. “We’re all really excited to have her back. Today she practiced for a half-hour. So I’m excited to see her back.’’
The Huskies have not yet been at full strength this season due to numerous ailments. Auriemma is eagerly anticipating the day when he will have every roster at his disposal.
“I’m just anxious to get our whole team,’’ Auriemma said. “I don’t know that we’ve had our whole team all year. We haven’t played a game I don’t think with our whole team yet this year. We didn’t have Bria (Hartley) for the longest time. Kaleena (Mosqueda-Lewis). Morgan (Tuck). Kiah. Moriah (Jefferson). And we haven’t really noticed it. It’s not like we’re like, `Wow.’ So it hasn’t really, really affected us. But I’m anxious to get our whole team back. We’re really good when we’ve got our whole team. As good as we played in the Stanford game, when we’ve got our whole team we’re really good because we’ve got a lot of different scenarios that we can put out there.’’