North Carolina

UNC gets good news on Theo Pinson’s shoulder injury

North Carolinas Theo Pinson (1) reacts after falling early in the first half against Clemson on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, S.C. Pinson injured his hip and shoulder on the fall and did not return to play.
North Carolinas Theo Pinson (1) reacts after falling early in the first half against Clemson on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, S.C. Pinson injured his hip and shoulder on the fall and did not return to play. rwillett@newsobserver.com

Theo Pinson had an ice bag wrapped around his left shoulder after North Carolina’s loss to Clemson on Tuesday.

Pinson was sore, and missed all but 2 minutes of Tuesday’s game, but the senior forward doesn’t expect the minor injury to keep him out of the lineup for any other games.

“It was one of those things,” Pinson said. “I could have went back out there and I tried but I didn’t want to hurt the team in any way.”

RAL_ UNCCLEMSON-SP-013018-RTW10
North Carolinas Theo Pinson (1) talks with coach Roy Williams after falling early in the first half against Clemson on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, S.C. Pinson injured his hip and shoulder on the fall and did not return to play. Robert Willett rwillett@newsobserver.com

The senior wing injured his left shoulder when he tried to get rebound at the 18:28 mark in the first half. Pinson was fouled by Clemson forward David Skara after he jumped and landed awkwardly on his tailbone and the left side of his body.

“After I went up, he took my legs from under me,” Pinson said. “I tried to brace myself with my left hand but didn’t get it down.”

UNC coach Roy Williams said under different circumstances, Pinson likely would have come back in the game.

“He might have been able to come back but it’s still a game in January, so we decided just not to push it,” Williams said.

“(Athletic trainer) Doug (Halverson) does not think it was extremely serious but it was not advisable to put him back in the game.”

Without Pinson, freshman guard Andrew Platek played 15 minutes — his most in an ACC game — and point guard Joel Berry played 39 minutes, the most he has played in a regulation game this season.

With freshman guard Jalek Felton suspended, Pinson was supposed to be the backup point guard to Berry. Platek ended up taking over for Berry for 1 minute and 11 seconds in the first half. Berry didn’t come out in the second half.

“I just have to make sure that I’m doing what I can to take care of my body and that I’m ready to play a lot of minutes,” Berry said.

“I was tired a little bit but I just didn’t want my teammates down. I saw in the second half how everybody was fighting.”

Berry, who finished with 27 points, helped UNC erase a 16-point halftime deficit but the Tigers scored eight of the game’s last 12 points.

UNC might be able to get some help soon from sophomore guard Seventh Woods, who has been out since Nov. 29 with a foot injury.

Woods, who has missed 16 games, took part in some practice drills on Monday, Williams said.

“He’s making some progress,” Williams said. “He played some halfcourt (Monday) but they haven’t released him yet to do everything.

“Whether he would be available this weekend, I would sort of doubt, but I don’t know.”

Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938 , @jwgiglio

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