February 25, 2014

UNC forward Kennedy Meeks, guard Leslie McDonald slowed by injuries

Meeks and McDonald could be limited for the Tar Heels' game at NC State on Wednesday night.

Two of North Carolina’s starters are recovering from injuries, and coach Roy Williams said on Tuesday that he’s unsure how much Kennedy Meeks and Leslie McDonald will be able to contribute when the Tar Heels play at N.C. State on Wednesday night.

Meeks is still recovering from a hyper-extended knee and sprained ankle that he suffered on Saturday during UNC’s 105-72 victory against Wake Forest. McDonald, meanwhile, has struggled with pain in his left ankle during the past two days. He said he doesn’t know when he sustained the injury.

Williams wasn’t sure how much McDonald and Meeks would practice on Tuesday.

“I don’t know what we’re going to get out of Kennedy today, which means I don’t know what we’re going to get out of Kennedy tomorrow,” Williams said. “ Leslie practiced yesterday but again, it was very little. And he was limping around.”

Meeks and McDonald have played integral roles during UNC’s nine-game winning streak. McDonald scored 21 points in UNC’s victory against Duke last Thursday. He followed that with 19 points in the victory against Wake Forest.

Earlier in the week, Meeks, the freshman from Charlotte, scored a season-high 23 points in a victory at Florida State. Both McDonald and Meeks have helped UNC become a more balanced offensive team in recent weeks, and both have helped alleviate the pressure on Marcus Paige and James Michael McAdoo, the team’s leading scorers.

McDonald and Meeks were hopeful they would be able to practice on Tuesday and play on Wednesday night. Asked if he believed he would play against N.C. State, Meeks said, “I do.” Meeks endured his injury on Saturday in the first half but returned to play.

“I guess I was trying to be tough,” he said. “I guess that didn’t help after the game. It just made it worse. But I’ll be all right.”

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