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Caroline Ducharme becomes the fifth UConn women's player to be lost for the season

FILE -Connecticut's Caroline Ducharme shoots during UConn's men's and women's basketball teams annual First Night celebration, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021 in Storrs, Conn. UConn guard Caroline Ducharme will miss the remainder of the season with ongoing head and neck problems, the school announced Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — UConn guard Caroline Ducharme will miss the remainder of the season with ongoing head and neck problems, the school announced Tuesday.

The junior becomes the fifth member of the No. 8 Huskies to be lost for the season to health issues.

Freshman forward Jana El Alfy went down with a preseason Achilles tendon injury; junior guard Azzi Fudd suffered a season-ending knee injury in November; senior forward Aubrey Griffin suffered a similar injury earlier this month and post player Ayanna Patterson had surgery in December to address knee issues.

Ducharme, a starter at the beginning of the season, has had concussion and later neck issues throughout her career.

She missed four games as a freshman and 17 last year. She has played just four games this year, averaging four points and two rebounds a game.

“It has honestly been a frustrating process with many ups and downs,” Ducharme said in a statement. “At this time, the difficult decision was made to take a step back and not play the remainder of the 2023-24 season so I can focus on my recovery full time.”

The injuries have left the Huskies (16-3, 8-0 Big East) with nine available players for Tuesday night’s game at Marquette (15-3, 4-3).

Ducharme indicated she plans to return to basketball.

"I’m always supporting my team and I can’t wait to rejoin them on the court next season," she said.

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AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball