UNC head coach Roy Williams confirmed Friday afternoon that junior guard Leslie McDonald will redshirt the 2011-2012 season.
McDonald suffered a knee injury last July while playing in the Greater NC Pro Am in Durham, and while he's been working to get back ever since, it makes more sense for him to come back when he can have two full seasons.
"Leslie and I have talked, and his family. Our plan right now is that he will not play this year," said Coach Williams. "It's the smart thing to do (redshirting McDonald). He's still not ready to go out and guard (Florida State's) Michael Snaer or anything like that."
McDonald has been making substantial progress as he's worked his way back into practice, but being that the Tar Heels are in midseason, it would have been tough for him to get back into game shape for the backstretch of the season.
"I think it's the best decision for Leslie. Coming back from an injury, it's hard to say when you're ready to come back, but it doesn't make sense to come back when you might not be game ready until late March," said sophomore Harrison Barnes.
"I think he's doing great in practice coming back. It's nice to see he can run up and down the court two or three times, play defense. It's good,' Barnes added.
"He feels comfortable, but I would not say 100 percent confident about all his moves. He's getting better every day," added Coach Williams.
McDonald will have two more seasons of eligibility at UNC starting with the 2012-2013 season.