UCLA’s Mac Etienne out for season after undergoing surgery for torn ACL
The UCLA coach confirmed the season-ending diagnosis Friday before the No. 2 Bruins head to Las Vegas for games against Bellarmine and No. 1 Gonzaga next week. Etienne, whom Cronin suspected of suffering a torn ACL last week, is the second Bruin lost for the season because of a knee injury, joining freshman guard Will McClendon.
“They don’t want to hear it now, but sometimes the tough things that happen to you in life are a blessing,” Cronin said, “so hopefully it’ll help them both in terms of their development.”
IImar’I Thomas scored 21 points and Charisma Osborne had 19 points before leaving with an injury in UCLA’s 73-46 win over Cal State Northridge.
Etienne, a 6-foot-10 forward, was a midseason addition last year, joining the Bruins early when the COVID-19 pandemic affected his senior season in high school. He played in 13 games, making one start, and averaged 2.6 points and 2.8 rebounds. Because the pandemic-affected season didn’t count against an athlete’s eligibility, Etienne entered this season with five years to play four seasons.
The blow further strips a Bruins frontcourt that is without forward Cody Riley. The redshirt senior is still sidelined because of a sprained knee ligament suffered in the season opener Nov. 9 as the Bruins prepare for a much-anticipated rematch against top-ranked Gonzaga, which defeated UCLA in the Final Four with a buzzer-beater victory last year.
“Sucks that we can’t have them out there, but we just gotta keep going,” guard Tyger Campbell said of the injuries to Etienne and Riley. “And if we don’t have them, we still have the rest of our team, so we just got to be confident in the guys that are suiting up and we just got to come prepared and ready to play on Monday and Tuesday.”
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