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The Journal Gazette

  • FILE - In this Oct. 3, 2019, file photo, Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw, center, laughs with players Mikayla Vaughn, left, and Marta Sniezek during the Atlantic Coast Conference women's NCAA college basketball media day in Charlotte, N.C. McGraw faces a big rebuilding project after two runs to the NCAA championship game, including a win two seasons ago. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond, File)

Thursday, November 07, 2019 6:10 pm

Notre Dame center Mikayla Vaughn out with knee injury

JOHN FINERAN | Associated Press

SOUTH BEND -- No. 16 Notre Dame will be without 6-foot-3 junior center Mikayla Vaughn for four to six weeks because of a right knee sprain.

Vaughn was injured Tuesday night during the season-opening win at Fordham.

"It's hard for all of us, especially Mikayla -- she doesn't want to let the team down," coach Muffet McGraw said. "She's a little disappointed right now. She knows how much we need her experience. She was our leader."

Vaughn, who had season-ending surgery on her left knee for a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the 2017-18 season, suffered her latest injury in the third quarter. She returned to the game briefly and finished with eight points and nine rebounds.

Abby Prohaska, a 5-foot-10 guard who provided a defensive presence off the bench, learned before the season that she would be out indefinitely after blood clots were found in her lungs. There is no timetable for her return.

The losses leave McGraw with seven scholarship players heading into Friday night's home opener against Loyola (Md.). The Fighting Irish reached the last two national championship games, winning one, but lost their entire starting lineup in April's WNBA draft.