Briahanna Jackson said she never worried she wouldn't see the floor again.
The University of Louisville senior point guard had missed the previous eight games with back spasms but returned to the floor for the Cardinals on Saturday in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
The 5-foot-6 Jackson had three points, six rebounds, five assists and one steal with just one turnover in 19 minutes of Louisville's 82-62 win over Chattanooga at the KFC Yum Center.
"It felt great to be back," Jackson said. "I have been practicing for two weeks, so I was prepared for this. I really appreciate the ovation from the crowd, there was a lot of love out there. It felt great and made me feel really happy."
A former transfer from Central Florida, Jackson had started 19 games for the Cardinals. But she was hurt in early February and only played five minutes in the loss to Notre Dame before sitting out the next eight games.
U of L coach Jeff Walz said several times he was hoping to get her back, and on Saturday he was happy.
"I thought Briahanna Jackson being back was a big help for us," he said. "It gave us more depth, which is what we need. She ends up with five assists and a turnover and six boards. I was really pleased with what she was able to bring."