That's a serious question.
I've injured my ACL twice. The first time it was a complete rupture with a lot of cartilage damage. I was in a knee immobilizer for a week and a half or so before I started to walk on it. Probably could've been sooner, but I was a bit gun shy. My knee buckled again right afterwards. I was immobilized for maybe a week or two after surgery, but I was out of it at times for therapy. I can't remember how long until I was walking without crutches, but it wasn't more than 2 weeks. I had a patellar graft, which actually resulted in the most pain post-op.
The second time was just a tear. I was never in an immobilizer after the injury. I walked off the court and went to the doctor a few days later when it wasn't getting better. I was in an immobilizer for 1 week after surgery. I actually had two surgeries that time. Had no ACL after the first surgery and was walking within a few days. They were bending it in therapy the day after the second surgery when they put the ACL in. That one was a graft from a cadaver.
Long story short, ACL injuries most likely don't result in a long time in an immobilizer. Definitely won't have a cast. Her not being in one doesn't say anything about how her recovery is going. That being said, she's younger than I was when I had my injuries and she's also a much better athlete. I wouldn't be shocked if she was playing in November/December, but I would be shocked if she was 100%. She never ceases to amaze me, though.
I injured my left knee (sever medial meniscus, ACL, MCL). After the surgery in August 1977, I had given up my crutches after 4 days and was walking around on it, albeit gingerly. I played basketball in October/November 1977. I've had to put up with periodic pain (about 6 - 8 times a year, for a couple of days).
However, it was not until 30 years later that I completely bend the leg. It would not surprise me if the arthritis got in the way, as I had gave up my sports and turned into a couch potato,
those who know about these things can comment. Thanks for your insights. "Her not being in one [a cast] doesn't say anything about how her recovery is going." Is exactly what I was looking for. It turns out I was pursuing a red herring as far as the cast was concerned.
Coach McGraw commented on the status of our wounded:
"Our two freshmen, Danielle Patterson and Mikayla Vaughn, will give us some depth in the post that we didn't have last year; and with Bri's injury, we will need some help rebounding, defending and blocking shots. You will get to see them at our open practice this fall, and I know you are as anxious as I am to see how they look.
This off season was spent dealing with injuries, and am happy to report that all three surgeries went well. Bri, Kathryn and Mychal are all rehabbing, and Kat and Mychal should be ready to go by the time practice begins."
Doesn't really supply much clarity, but I think it's safe to say that the staff and team are preparing for a season without the all-american post.