Griffin To Redshirt After Ankle Surgery
Lincoln - Nebraska women’s basketball coach Connie Yori announced on Wednesday that two-time first-team All-Big 12 forward Kelsey Griffin will undergo surgery on her injured left ankle on Thursday and miss the entire 2008-09 season.
Griffin has missed Nebraska’s first seven games of 2008-09 and will redshirt this season. The 6-2 senior from Eagle River, Alaska, originally injured the ankle on Aug. 28, and has not practiced or played for the Huskers in 14 weeks. She was one of five preseason first-team All-Big 12 players chosen by the league coaches this season, and will enter her final season with 1,348 points and 665 rebounds. She has not previously redshirted at Nebraska, opening her career with 74 consecutive starts from 2005-06 to 2007-08.
A three-year starter in Nebraska’s lineup, Griffin led the Huskers to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments in 2007 and 2008, including a first-round NCAA Tournament victory over Xavier last year in College Park, Md. Griffin is also a two-time first-team academic All-Big 12 selection and earned a spot on the 2007 Big 12 Good Works Team. She ranks 11th on NU’s career scoring list, seventh in rebounding and eighth in blocked shots.
"Kelsey is one of the toughest players I have ever coached, but this injury has not allowed her to recover. It is time for surgery," Yori said. "I think Kelsey is one of the top 15 or 20 players in the nation, so obviously losing her is going to affect us this season, especially against a Big 12 Conference schedule that has six top-25 teams, including four in the top 10 right now.
"Our No. 1 priority is to make sure Kelsey has a chance at a complete recovery so she can enter next season at 100 percent. She is still going to be a big part of our team this year by helping our younger post players develop. We hope to have her back out on the court after a complete recovery."
Griffin said the ankle injury has been frustrating personally for her, but she is proud of the way her teammates have performed without her.
"Obviously, it is frustrating to miss a whole season with what I thought was just a sprained ankle when it first happened," Griffin said. "It just hasn’t gotten better over the past three months, so it is disappointing that I can’t be out there with my teammates. They have made some good adjustments and have played extremely hard to get to 6-1 this season. I hope to be back out there with them on the court as soon as possible."
Griffin is expected to return for the Huskers next season to lead a team that will feature a six-player senior class, including 2008 All-Big 12 Defensive Team member Yvonne Turner, and current Husker scoring and rebounding leader Cory Montgomery. The 2009-10 Huskers are also expected to return current sophomore starters Dominique Kelley and Kaitlyn Burke.
Nebraska improved to 6-1 on the season with a 70-51 victory over 2008 NCAA Tournament qualifier Oral Roberts on Tuesday. The Huskers will face their first top-25 opponent of the season when they play host to No. 18 Ohio State at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Saturday. Tip-off is set for Noon.