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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tough time of the year for UConn's Morgan Tuck

Even as she sat side by side with her teammates and took in the excitement of the NCAA tournament bracket being announced, Morgan Tuck was dealing with a flood of varying emotions.

As excited as she was for her teammates earning the No. 1 overall seed after a perfect regular season and dominant run to the American Athletic Conference tournament title, the reality that she will not be an active participant during the Huskies quest for a second straight national title weighs heavily on her mind.

"It is kind of bittersweet," Tuck said after the bracket was announced on Monday night. "This is the time of the year that everybody has been waiting for so I am really excited for my team that we get a chance to get (pursue) our goal that we've had. It does (stink) that I can't play but I knew I wasn't going to be able to play at this time of the season so it is not like it was a surprise.

"I guess I am trying to make the most of sitting out and see it from a different perspective. I just try to watch and learn as much as I can so next year I will have a different perspective while playing."

Tuck, who underwent season-ending knee surgery on Jan. 31, is eyeing a return to basketball work in the summer.

"I got off crutches last week," Tuck said. "I started doing more normal rehab like squats and things like that. I usually do a bike workout for my cardio so that is pretty much where it is now. I am pretty much trying to build up my quad and hamstring because I lost a lot being on crutches for a long time. I am just trying to get a quad muscle back, that is the bigger thing right now and just make sure it heals properly."

Tuck said she does somewhere between 25-45 minutes on the bike depending on the difficulty level and the next step in the process is to go longer and harder on the bike.

"I think now I trying to not gain weight and heal right because I don't want to do something, push it to hard and it messes something up so I am regretting it down the road," Tuck said. "I am just taking my time. There is no reason to rush, I will be back in the summer and I am just want to take my time and make sure I heal right. They said they were talking about it being six months and I am hoping for it to be six months and not any longer."

UConn will submit the medical hardship paperwork at the end of the season with the hope that she is granted a fifth year of eligibility. She fits the criteria to be eligible for the additional year of eligibility but her case still needs to be looked at and approved by the NCAA.

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