Barring an untimely accident with a video-game controller in his hotel room Monday, Joel Berry offered the final update of the season on his sprained ankles Sunday afternoon. Unlike days past, he did not attach a percentage figure to his wellness, implying that he was as close to 100 percent as he was going to get.
“I actually feel better,” Berry said. “I woke up this morning and didn’t have any stiffness. That was my biggest worry. And I was able to get right up out of bed and just walk normally.”
“He tripped over a game controller, though,” Theo Pinson interjected, to laughter.
“They’re feeling pretty good,” Berry continued. “And we have all day to rest, and I know we have practice and everything, but we got the rest of the day to be able to do some rehab.”
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Berry sprained his right ankle – the same one that he injured early in the season, missing two games – in the NCAA opener against Texas Southern, then reinjured it in practice before the regional final against Kentucky. He sprained his left ankle early in that game, and struggled against both Kentucky and Oregon, going a combined 6-for-26 from the field and 2-for-13 from 3-point range in the two games.
North Carolina coach Roy Williams said Sunday that Berry would again be limited in practice, as he has been for two weeks.
“I’ve been in pain ever since I twisted my right ankle,” Berry said. “I did my left one, and I’ve been in pain ever since. At this point, I can’t think about it. I just have to continue to play. Sometimes, it limits me and my movement but other times, I get lost in the game to where I don’t even realize the pain. Tomorrow is the last game of the season so I have to give it my all regardless of what pain I’m going through. There’s no tomorrow. I can rest on Tuesday.”
Luke DeCock: 919-829-8947, firstname.lastname@example.org, @LukeDeCock