On the first day of the new year, the Tennessee women’s basketball team received some unfortunate news. Sophomore Cierra Burdick broke a bone in her right hand on Monday, UT associate director of sports medicine Jenny Moshak confirmed on Tuesday.
Burdick, a 6-foot-2 forward from Charlotte, N.C. (Butler H.S.), fractured the fourth metacarpal of her shooting hand. Evaluation is continuing, but she is out indefinitely.
The Lady Vols did not practice on Monday, but Burdick, who is known for spending extra time in the gym, was getting some additional shooting and defensive work in when the injury occurred.
Burdick started 11 of 12 games for a Tennessee team that has fashioned a 9-3 record and is ranked No. 12 nationally by Associated Press and 13th in the USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll. She is the team’s fourth-leading scorer (8.8 ppg.) and third-leading rebounder (6.5 rpg.), hitting double figures in points in four of UT’s last six games.
The Lady Vols will open SEC action without Burdick in the lineup when they play at No. 18/15 South Carolina on Thursday at 9 p.m. Eastern.
“I feel for Cierra, and I feel for this team,” UT Head Coach Holly Warlick said. “She’s a vital part of our success, but this is a team sport, and somebody is just going to have to step up.
“It’s a tough time (for this to happen), as we’re getting ready to head into SEC play, but we’ll get her back. We’re going to have to deal with it and stay positive.”