UNCs Pinson inching closer to return vs. Duke

The junior wing has missed the past three games sinceturning his right ankle early in a win against Virginia Tech on Jan. 26

Bob Donnan—USA Today Sports
Jan 31

CHAPEL HILL — Theo Pinson is getting close to returning to the lineup for the North Carolina basketball team. Whether he’s back in time for Thursday’s rivalry showdown at Duke will depend on how his injured right ankle responds in practice the next two days.Pinson, an energetic 6-foot-6 wing, has missed the past three games since turning his ankle early in a win against Virginia Tech on Jan. 26. It’s the second time this season that he’s been sidelined with an injury, having missed the first 16 games after undergoing surgery to repair a fracture in the same foot suffered during preseason practice. Pinson is averaging 6.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists while vastly improving UNC’s defense during the six games he’s played, all Tar Heel wins. He was in uniform for Sunday’s win against Notre Dame in his hometown of Greensboro, but didn’t play. Afterward, he told a group of reporters at his locker that he’s close to being ready to return. “I tried to get the soreness out a little bit and I did,” he said. “I’m feeling real good right now. No pain. Nothing.” While Pinson is optimistic about his status, his coach is taking a more cautious approach. “We’re doing running and shooting today,” Williams said on Monday. “We’ll let him to that, we’ll let him practice some (Wednesday) and we’ll make a decision at that point whether he’ll play on Thursday or we’ll hold him out a little bit more. Theo’s been doing quite a bit of work, just nothing in the team situation.”