Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Kiah Stokes getting closer to returning

When I headed out to the court for the end of practice one of the first thing I noticed was that Kiah Stokes did not have her warmups on or even a protective boot. She was wearing a gray UConn t-shirt and she had clearly worked up a sweat in it.

Following practice UConn coach Geno Auriemma said that the sophomore forward/center, who missed the last three games with a stress reaction in her right shin, has been able to practice a little bit in the last couple of days. While Stokes seems unlikely to play tomorrow against Notre Dame, there is a chance she could return when UConn hits the road for games against Georgetown and Marquette.

"She has had a couple (of practices), she has been getting her workouts in," Auriemma said. "She has had two days yesterday and today where she was on the court for maybe  15-20 minutes and she actually felt pretty good she said. We are getting closer to having her out on the floor. I don't know that tomorrow is the day, probably not my guess is but we are getting closer and hopefully sooner rather than later. She can be a big help to us.

"These last two days she is a hell of a lot closer than she was a week ago and now it is 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 has been all good. Half court stuff, we haven't done any full-court stuff with her and there hasn't been any contact with her yet so one step at a time. I am just anxious to get our whole team. I don't know if we've had our whole team the whole year, have we. We haven't really noticed it so it hasn't really affected us but I am anxious to get our whole team together."

After playing a career-low seven minutes against Oregon, Bria Hartley is set to return to her normal significant role against Notre Dame.

So why did the All-American guard play just seven minutes including none in the second half?

"Nothing," Auriemma said, "I just didn't feel like playing her. I think the other guys just deserved to play a little bit more so I did. It wasn't anything in particular, it was just a great opportunity to play those other guys."

Auriemma said that Hartley has looked good in practice since getting back so look for her to be out there for most of the game against the Fighting Irish.

Auriemma also said that Morgan Tuck's  right knee is something that will have to be monitored all year long.

"She never really knows what it is going to look like after practice and the next morning, she doesn't know. Right now there are more good days than bad which is good."

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