The initial response by the Huskies was disbelief. Not another elbow injury for Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis.
She crashed to the floor with 18.7 seconds left in the first half after having her shot blocked on a drive to the basket. Mosqueda-Lewis landed on her left elbow.
A UConn spokesperson said that Mosqueda-Lewis sustained a left elbow contusion. She missed eight games earlier this season with a nerve contusion in her right elbow. UConn coach Geno Auriemma, however, does not believe that this injury is as severe.
“From what I’ve been able to see it’s not as bad as what happened last time,’’ Auriemma said. “ It’s in a similar spot, just a different elbow. So we’ve got a week off before we play again (at South Florida Feb. 16) and I guess we’ll know more in a day or so. But right now there’s not that same sense of urgency that I saw in the first time.
“She’s got to learn how to fall or something,’’ Auriemma added jokingly. “We’ve got to put bubbles around our guys. We can’t afford to get anybody hurt. We can’t afford to get anybody else hurt, anyway. It’s unbelievable.’’
Mosqueda-Lewis sprinted to the UConn bench just before the start of the second half wearing a sleeve on her left arm. She returned to the game with 13:56 left.
In 6:37 of playing time in the half, Mosqueda-Lewis had one rebound, one assist and missed her only shot attempt before leaving the game for good with 7:19 left.
“I think the thing that ran through all our heads is `not again,’’’ senior Bria Hartley said. “At first we were like, `It’s the same elbow.’ But then we were like, `No, it’s the other one. So she’s alright.’ But she’s tough. So I don’t think this one is going to be as bad as her last injury. So I think she should be good. We have a couple days off so she can rest and get it better.’’
Mosqueda-Lewis was examined by team doctor Tom Trojian following the game. The Huskies are scheduled to shoot and watch film Monday and are off Tuesday.
“When she went down I thought it was her same elbow,’’ sophomore Breanna Stewart said. “So I didn’t know it was her different one. At that moment, it kind of just scares everyone to see her have to get hurt like that again. She came back in the game. Hopefully, she’ll be ready (to play at South Florida).’’