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January 15, 2013

Banged-up UNC looks to heal, improve

Leslie McDonald has missed the last two games for the Tar Heels, after he reinjured the knee that made him miss all of last season.

McDonald tore his MCL and ACL in the summer of 2011, which allowed him to redshirt last year.

When hearing about McDonald's injury, one had to wonder the extremity and would this be an injury that could cause his comeback season to come to a halt.

So far, McDonald has been having a decent year for the Tar Heels, as he has been an important key coming off the bench, scoring 8.4 points per game, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in 17.9 minutes a game (14 games).

As of early Monday, Roy Williams was hoping that McDonald would be ready for the game on Saturday against Maryland.

However, after doing limited work in Monday's practice that caused some discomfort, McDonald will have to see the doctor to be cleared for the game.

"Leslie we did some restrictive things with him during practice (Monday). Now we have to see how he handles the work," Williams said during Monday's night Radio Show at Top of the Hill Restaurant in Chapel Hill.

"I think he started (practice) out fine, then I think it started bothering him at the end, so we sent him over to stretch some more," Williams added about McDonald.

Luke Davis , the Tar Heels third option at point guard, wasn't as lucky, as he injured his ankle and will be fitted for a boot.

Williams said there's a '99.9 percent chance' that Davis won't be available for the Tar Heels when they take on Maryland Saturday afternoon in the Smith Center.

Davis also missed the game against Florida State, just like McDonald.

Williams expanded on the injuries to his squad during the Monday morning ACC teleconference.

"Luke is not able to practice. They are putting him in a boot this afternoon and keeping him in it all week, so he will not be able to practice. And Leslie's seeing a doctor this afternoon before practice and hopefully finding out some. So hopefully we'll have Leslie, but I don't believe we'll have Luke," Williams said.

No timetable has been set for Davis so far, but this is an injury that no one wanted to happen.

Even though Davis was the third option at point guard, he has been able to come off the bench for the Tar Heels and provide some good minutes.

Davis has provided an average of 5.7 minutes in 11 games so far for the Tar Heels.

However, the injury could become a greater loss if anything happens to either Marcus Paige or Dexter Strickland, since he is the only other backup point guard the Tar Heels have.

The game against Chaminade was by far Davis' best game so far this year, when he contributed five points and dished out seven assists for the Tar Heels.

North Carolina is also working without Desmond Hubert at full strength, as he's apparently suffering some kind of dental issue, presumably a loose tooth.

"Desmond, we have a meeting set up with the dentist. I think he had a problem with a tooth. We're a little banged up. From sprained ankles to missing teeth and everything else," said Williams.

Considering all the injuries, UNC's break in ACC play couldn't have come at a better time, especially playing two games in a 48 hour span, along with traveling to and from Tallahassee, one of the league's longer road trips.

This week will allow the players to rest, get some practice in and gear up for Maryland, as UNC looks to even its ACC record to 2-2.

"(Tuesday) we'll just do some running and shooting. Wednesday we'll give them the day off completely. And we'll hopefully come back and have great practices on Thursday and Friday," said Williams.






 

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