Stewart Expects To Play Monday Vs. Vanderbilt

Freshman Breanna Stewart practiced Sunday, one day after missing UConn’s NCAA tournament opener against Idaho with a left calf injury.

All signs point to her returning to action Monday when the top-seeded Huskies face Vanderbilt in the second round at Gampel Pavilion (7; ESPN2. ESPNU). The winner will advance to the Bridgeport regional semifinals March 30 at Webster Bank Arena.

“She’s good for today so we’ll see what happens today,’’ UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “I would hope that she goes through today’s workout and that she feels really good and that there’s no problems. We’re not going to do a lot so I don’t know that she needs to do a lot either. And then we’ll see how she feels tomorrow and I’m planning on her playing.’’

“I think it’s still going to be sore,’’ Stewart said. “But I think that the way that I have it taped I don’t think it’s going to bother me at all during the game.’’

Stewart has missed three games this season due to injury. She also did not play at Marquette Jan. 12 and against Louisville Jan. 15 due to a sprained left ankle.

Auriemma classified Stewart today as being a “very, very’’ tough individual.

“It’s not the first time she’s been hurt and this is not the first time that she’s tried to fight through something that I’ve seen other kids not be able to fight through,’’ Auriemma said. “And Stewie avoids the training room like all the great players do. She avoids the training room. And she’s also a very competitive kid and knows that the more time she walks by the training room and turns and goes in there the less time she’s going to be playing. So I don’t have any problems that when Stewie says `I’m good to go’ she’s good to go.’’