Star-Bulletin Sports

Wednesday, January 30, 2002



Atuaia to miss road trip
because of knee injury

By Al Chase

Hawaii will be without shooting guard April Atuaia when it leaves tomorrow for a two-week women's basketball road trip.

Atuaia has been diagnosed with a complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee, a small tear in the lateral meniscus and a bone bruise of the lateral femoral condyle. She is out of action indefinitely.

In the four-game swing, the Wahine play against San Jose State, Texas-El Paso, Louisiana Tech and Southern Methodist.

The injury occurred three minutes into last Saturday's game against Fresno State at the Stan Sheriff Center. Atuaia was driving the right side toward the basket and tried to cut between two FSU players. She collided with Fresno State's Mindy Clark, fell to the floor and was called for a player control foul on the play.

Atuaia did walk off the floor under her own power, but did not return to the game. An MRI examination Monday night revealed the extent of the injury.

"Right now we're concerned about April's health. That's our number one priority and we'll go from there," Wahine coach Vince Goo said.

Atuaia, a sophomore from Kahuku, will undergo rehabilitation while the rest of the team is away, then will be evaluated again to determine if surgery is necessary.

Freshman guard Chelsea Wagner replaced Atuaia and played 30 minutes. She scored five points and had four assists, three steals and no turnovers.

When the Wahine (13-4, 5-2 Western Athletic Conference) take the floor in their 18th game of the season against San Jose State Saturday, it will be the first time Goo has had to change his starting five this season.

"Chelsea will start in April's place with Christa Brossman coming off the bench. We will move Jade Abele over and have her play some wing," Goo said.

Atuaia was averaging 7.7 points per game and contributing in other areas. She was second on the team in rebounds (114), assists (61) and steals (13).

UH Athletics

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