Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Brother: Zeller's wrist broken in two places

North Carolina forward Tyler Zeller’s wrist is broken in two places, his brother Luke told reporters covering Notre Dame on Wednesday. Luke Zeller said his brother is having surgery this afternoon.

It is unclear how long he will be sidelined.

"He broke the bones on each side of (the wrist)," Luke Zeller said, according to the Chicago Tribune. "They're putting in plates and screws. Thank goodness it's his left hand and not his right hand, but that's all you can be happy about right now."

Tyler Zeller, a freshman who averaged 10 points and 1.5 rebounds his first two games, was hurt with 1:26 left in Tuesday night’s game against Kentucky. He was going for a breakaway dunk when he was fouled in transition by Wildcats forward Ramon Harris, came down hard on his left hand, walked off the court alongside the trainer and was taken to the hospital for tests.

His injury leaves on starting forward position in limbo as the Tar Heels prepare to play at Santa Barbara on Friday, then in the Maui Invitational next week.

Coach Roy Williams said Tuesday night that he did not know when Hansbrough — who has been sidelined for three weeks because of a ‘stress reaction’ in his right shin — would play again, but it sounded like the upcoming road trip could be a possibility.

“I think, and emphasize the word ‘think,’ he probably could have already played,’’ Williams said. “But why rush something like that? We want to be extremely conservative, and that’s what we’ve been already.”

If Hansbrough isn’t ready to return Friday, the Tar Heels could start freshman Ed Davis, who has averaged 9.5 points and 12 rebounds off the bench in his first two games.

The top-ranked Tar Heels are also missing Marcus Ginyard, last year’s starting small forward. He’s out until at least next month because of foot surgery.

Zeller's injury is a disappointment to his brother, because they could have matched up in the Maui Invitational field.

"Being out in Maui together, we were joking around, Wednesday night would be the only night we could hang out," Luke Zeller said. "It just makes it tough. Me and him are really, really close. We were talking about (Maui) for a while. Now they're saying he's in surgery today, won't go with the team to L.A., but hopefully he'll go to Maui. Just kind of depends on how he feels and everything else."

-- Robbi Pickeral


Anonymous said...

Reading about some second team Tarheel's wrist is great and all...but how 'bout those Deacs!