North Carolina junior wing forward Theo Pinson has yet to practice since his surgery to repair a broken bone in his foot but his return is in sight and he’s expected to be able to play in a matter of weeks, UNC coach Roy Williams said on Friday.
“I’d say two to three weeks, at the most, of getting Theo back,” Williams said.
He was speaking during a teleconference the day before the Tar Heels start ACC play on Saturday at Georgia Tech. The most optimistic timetable for Pinson’s return suggested he might be back in time for the start of the conference season, but he’s still working his way back.
Pinson before the start of the season suffered a fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his right foot. He broke the same bone in his left foot twice before – once in high school and again during his freshman season at UNC.
He underwent surgery on Oct. 26 and was expected to be unable to play for eight to 12 weeks following that procedure. About 9 ½ weeks have passed since Pinson’s surgery, and the updated timetable that Williams provided means that Pinson will have been out for around 12 weeks by the time he returns.
Pinson, who was expected to enter the season as a starter, has dressed out and gone through light warm-ups before each of the past two games – victories against Northern Iowa and Monmouth. During the shootaround before the victory against Monmouth on Wednesday, Pinson went through what Williams described as “dummy offense.”
“And as I said in the press conference, I told him it was very appropriate for him,” Williams said.
The one-liner was a reference to Pinson’s joking nature, his role as the team’s jester. During his absence he has continued to provide energy and enthusiasm as an observer during practices, and soon Pinson will be able to do more.
“I’m hopeful that we can get that going pretty soon,” Williams said of Pinson returning to practice. “But so far I don’t have the doctor’s say. So what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to be able to out and practice and practice for two or three days and see how you feel, and practice for two or three more days and then see if you’re good enough to play.”
UNC at Georgia Tech
When: Noon Saturday
Where: McCamish Pavilion, Atlanta
Online: ACC Network Extra