Cate Reese was back on the court playing for the Arizona Wildcats less than a month after a shoulder dislocation suffered on Feb. 20 against Washington State. It was clear that she was not 100 percent, though. Reese spent most of the third quarter on the Arizona bench, including when the Wildcats desperately needed an inside-scoring presence against North Carolina. Now we know why.
Reese’s mother, Cheryl Steger-Reese, posted on social media after the game that her daughter “had a decision to make.” She opted to put off immediate surgery after the injury because “she would never abandon her team.” Now, Reese will have that surgery.
PJ Brown of the Arizona Daily Star confirmed the news with Arizona head coach Adia Barnes on Tuesday morning. Barnes contradicted the idea that Reese was at risk of further damage, but she confirmed that there was surgery in the immediate future.
“Cate will undergo surgery immediately, as she has a significant tear in her tissue,” Barnes was quoted by the Star. “Cate wanted to play, and we knew she would not risk further damage to her shoulder if she did.”
Reese wore a brace throughout the two games and in practice. She appeared to move well and scored 16 points in 20 minutes in the opening round win over UNLV.
According to Steger-Reese, Reese will have six months of rehab after the surgery. Reese has already said that she will return for the extra year granted by the NCAA last season due to COVID-19.