The injury bug is once again biting the Bruins ahead of the upcoming season.
UCLA women’s basketball forward Angela Dugalic has undergone surgery to repair a torn ACL, she announced Wednesday on her Instagram. The former Oregon transfer suffered the knee injury while playing for Team Serbia at the FIBA World Cup on Aug. 28, but did not go under the knife for another month.
Dugalic is expected to miss the entire 2022-2023 season, robbing the Bruins of some significant talent and depth down low.
Dugalic missed the beginning of the 2021-2022 season due to a knee contusion she suffered during a preseason exhibition against Texas. The 6-foot-4 post player did not make her debut with the Bruins until Feb. 11 against Washington State.
From there, Dugalic appeared in UCLA’s final 14 games and averaged 17.4 minutes a night. Dugalic averaged 6.4 points and 4.5 rebounds per game down the stretch, scoring in double figures three times.
The previous season at Oregon, Dugalic played in all 24 contests for the Ducks and made one start. She averaged 3.4 points and 4.0 rebounds her true freshman year before she transferred to Westwood in the offseason. Coming out of Maine West High School (IL), Dugalic was a five-star recruit.
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According to a report from the Los Angeles Times on Sept. 27, redshirt sophomore forward Izzy Anstey had joined Dugalic on the sidelines at practice. Anstey is recovering from hip surgery she underwent in the offseason, and coach Cori Close told the LA Times that she would likely be out until Pac-12 play.
Without Dugalic or Anstey, the Bruins will be turning to Brynn Masikewich, Emily Bessoir, Christeen Iwuala and Lina Sontag to eat up the free minutes on the block. Iwuala and Sontag are true freshmen, with Iwuala arriving as a top-50 recruit in the country and Sontag coming over from Germany.
Bessoir tore her ACL last preseason, while Masikewich didn’t make her season debut until Jan. 26 and was shut down for the year less than a week later.
By signing a star-studded freshman class and bringing back a few veterans with extra eligibility, UCLA has plenty of bodies in the backcourt and on the wing for this upcoming season. The forward position is a whole other story, though, meaning Close and her staff will once again have to get creative to cobble together a rotation with Dugalic unavailable.
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