UNC Basketball: Theo Pinson ruled OUT against Notre Dame

North Carolina junior wing Theo Pinson has been ruled out against Notre Dame

UNC junior guard/forward Theo Pinson has been ruled out for the team’s Saturday game against 20th-ranked Notre Dame.

Pinson injured his right ankle in the first half of North Carolina’s game against Virginia Tech last Thursday, forcing him to miss the remainder of the game. He subsequently missed the Tar Heels’ next two contests, a road game against Miami and a home contest against Pittsburgh.

It now appears that the 6-foot-6 junior reserve will miss at least one more game due to the injury. And by the looks of it, probably more.

Jan 8, 2017; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forwards Luke Maye (32) and Theo Pinson (1) and guard Kenny Williams (24) on the bench in the second half. The Tar Heels defeated the Wolfpack 107-56 at Dean E. Smith Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 8, 2017; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forwards Luke Maye (32) and Theo Pinson (1) and guard Kenny Williams (24) on the bench in the second half. The Tar Heels defeated the Wolfpack 107-56 at Dean E. Smith Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

“I don’t want to put a timetable on it,” Williams said in his post-game press conference. “He’s got a rolled ankle. You saw him walk in, he’s out of a boot. They’re going to start working him some tomorrow. He’s not going to play on Saturday because I think that’s too quick a turnaround. Joel Berry’s ankle was not nearly as severe a turn and he missed two games, so we’re not going to have him for a while but we’d like to get him back.”

As Williams stated, there is still no timetable for Pinson’s return and it looks as if the Tar Heels are going to use extreme caution throughout his recovery.

Pinson missed the Tar Heels’ first 16 games of the season after breaking a bone in his right foot in October. He had surgery on the injured foot and returned to practice in late December.

In six games this season, Pinson has averaged 6.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists, but the full impact of his presence on the court cannot be overstated.

With Pinson in the lineup, the Tar Heels have much better passing, perimeter defense and energy off the bench. Other players, particularly senior forward Isaiah Hicks, are more effective with Pinson in the rotation as well.

Check back with Keeping It Heel for updates on Pinson’s injury and continued coverage of the Tar Heels’ 2016-17 season.

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