It may have only been a week since Breanna Stewart rolled her ankle during a rebounding drill but to UConn's freshman phenom it must have felt like an eternity after being forced to sit out the games against Marquette and Louisville.
The good news is Stewart returned to practice yesterday and with two straight days of being able to practice without restriction, she is ready to return to game action when the Huskies play Syracuse at the XL Center tomorrow.
"I felt good," Stewart said. "My ankle is feeling better. I have it taped up pretty well and have a brace on.
I was in the training room and I wasn't too happy. I swore I asked Rosemary (Ragle), our trainer, about 10 times a day, if I could play.
"It was a rebounding drill, I was boxing out and I stepped on Kaleena's foot and completely rolled it. It didn't feel too nice
"Marquette, it was kind of (assumed) because it was the next day. I kind of knew by the size of the ankle that I probably wouldn't be playing but it was disappointing knowing I couldn't play against Louisville. I was upset and frustrated because I felt like I could play on it but my how it looked they didn't feel like .... When they touched it, obviously it hurt but they didn't feel like I was ready yet."
STOKES LEAVES PRACTICE
Just when it looked like the Huskies would have all 11 players available, sophomore forward/center Kiah Stokes left in the middle of Friday's practice and did not return.
Auriemma wasn't certain of her status but they won't be taking any risks since Stokes already missed five games due to a stress reaction in her right shin.
"I talked to them before practice today and said it has taken us a long time but I think Saturday and Monday is the first time we actually have everybody and halfway through practice Kiah Stokes walked off the court and didn't come back," a perturbed Auriemma said after practice.
UConn said that about 2,000 tickets are left for tomorrow's game against Syracuse and 1,000 or so remain for Monday's game against Duke.