North Carolina sophomore forward Sterling Manley, who appears to be closer to a returning to the court after missing nearly two months with a sore knee, will not play against No. 1 Duke on Wednesday.
UNC coach Roy Williams was asked whether Manley would play, to which he responded “no.”
Manley has not played since the Tar Heels played Davidson on Dec. 29. Manley, who was averaging 4.4 points and 4.3 rebounds before his injury, has missed the last 13 games for UNC.
He has practiced the last couple of weeks, but in a limited capacity.
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“I can’t wait till he gets back,” UNC senior guard Kenny Williams said. “He’s been working hard with Jonas (Sahratian) and Doug (Halverson) trying to get back. Trying to get his body right...I’ve been in that position before. I’m sure he wants to be out there as badly as I want him out there...When he comes back, it’ll be one added person to throw into the fire.”
The Tar Heels will continue to lean on sophomore forward Garrison Brooks and senior forward Luke Maye to make up for his loss. Manley isn’t the only one who will miss Wednesday’s game. Freshman guard/forward Leaky Black will also be out with a sprained ankle he suffered on Jan. 29 against Georgia Tech.
UNC freshman Nassir Little, who sprained his ankle last week against Virginia, is expected to play. He played Saturday against Wake Forest, but sat during the second half after being hit in the chest.
Williams said after the game he thought it was best to rest Little until the next game.