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Auriemma Expects Stewart to Play

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Auriemma Expects Stewart to Play

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HARTFORD, CT - DECEMBER 03: Breanna Stewart #30 of the Connecticut Huskies handles the ball against the Maryland Terrapins at the XL Center on December 3, 2012 in Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images)

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The Huskies have 11 players on their 2012-13 roster but this group goes eight deep, which means that unlike recent squads, injuries aren't much of an issue, even when it happens to the team's top contributors. Five players have missed time this season -- Kiah Stokes (5), Morgan Tuck (3), Bria Hartley (2), Breanna Stewart (2) and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (1) -- with Stewart having missed the last two games with an ankle injury.

But coach Geno Auriemma said he could've used Stewart in an emergency in Tuesday night's win over Louisville, and expect the freshman to be ready to go when the Huskies host Syracuse this Saturday.

“I think she’s come along a lot faster than we initially thought when she first got hurt,” Auriemma said via SNY.com. “Dr. (Tom) Trojian said she might not be able to play until Monday in the Duke game unless Rosemary can do what she normally does and fix these guys a lot sooner than everybody thinks. I think that’s what happened. She looks good.”

Stewart, the best high school player in the country a year ago, is from Syracuse. She's averaging 14.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 22.1 minutes per game. She has eight starts in 14 appearances, and is shooting .531 from the floor. Still, the McDonald's All-American admits it's hard to sit on the bench.

Any time where something like that happens, where you roll your ankle, it’s up to the person who’s trying to get better how quickly they get better sometimes,” Auriemma said. “Breanna Stewart wants to play. And she probably made life miserable for (trainer) Rosemary (Ragle) every day since the injury because she wants to play. I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s on the phone at two in the morning saying, ‘What do I have to do right now?’ She wants to be out on the floor. She’s a great competitor.”

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