Junior All-American Bria Hartley could not believe it had happened again. She was going for a loose ball early in the first half Saturday when a Marquette player landed on her left ankle and it turned in.
It was an injury to her left ankle that initially forced her to miss six weeks of action earlier this season, including the first two games of the regular season. But after playing just 4:31 against the Golden Eagles, this injury does not appear to be nearly as serious.
Hartley has been upgraded to probable for Tuesday’s game against No. 15 Louisville at the XL Center. A final decision regarding her playing status is expected to be made following shootaround.
“It’s definitely a lot better,’’ Hartley said. “That first day normally ankles are like stiff so when you’re just sitting around or whatever when you get up it’s like hard to walk and it hurts a little bit. But when you start moving and get active it’s a lot better.
“Right now it’s listed as probable. I should go through shootaround and I feel like if things continue in … It got a lot better even from the day after the game until today. So hopefully the same progress happens tomorrow and I should be able to play. It’s going to hurt a little bit, but just play through it.’’
UConn team doctor Tom Trojian examined Hartley’s ankle Sunday morning at Gampel Pavilion, using ultrasound.
“The pain was in a little bit of a different area,’’ Hartley said. “It was more so on the bone. So it could’ve gotten bruised from getting hit or something like that. The doctor took a look at it. My ligament is in place. He said it actually looks stronger than it was from when I injured it the first time. So that’s positive.’’
Hartley was able to get some shooting in at Gampel Pavilion today. She also ran on the treadmill, used the elliptical machine and did some sliding and sprinting in an effort to test her ankle.
Hartley said that she has not been at 100 percent health all season.
“Close to it, I think ,’’ Hartley said. “When you have injuries they’re always going to bother you after the fact. It takes time for them to be completely 100 percent. I couldn’t tell you exactly, I would say about 90 (percent).’’
Freshman Breanna Stewart did not play at Marquette due to a sprained left ankle and is listed as doubtful against Louisville. She too got some work in today.
“Breanna came out and got some shots up and moved around a little bit and did some individual stuff for a little bit,’’ UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “And the same thing, although whatever Bria’s condition is Breanna’s less likely for tomorrow.’’