UNC’s Woods out ‘for a while,’ Johnson getting closer to return

Seventh Woods takes a shot in UNC's season-opening game against Northern Iowa (Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY Sports)

North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams had some good news about one of his injured players and some not-so-good news about another on Tuesday.

Speaking at a regularly scheduled media availability, the Tar Heels’ coach said that sophomore guard Seventh Woods is still battling a case of plantar fasciitis in his right foot and won’t be available for Wednesday’s home game against Western Carolina.

Woods, who is averaging 2.4 points and 1.7 assists off the bench, has missed the past two games and was sporting a walking boot at UNC’s win against Tulane on Sunday.

“We get more information every day, we’re checking with people. But he’s going to be out for a while,” Williams said. “We don’t know how long. They’re still checking with another person, too, but I really don’t know. I just know he’s going to be out for a while.”

While Woods appears to just be starting his recovery process, teammate Cameron Johnson seems to be nearing the end of his extended rehab from preseason knee surgery.

The graduate transfer from Pittsburgh was expected to miss 4-6 weeks after tearing the meniscus in his left knee on Nov. 13. Although Williams didn’t offer any specifics as to Johnson’s progress, the feeling is that the 6-foot-8 wing will be back in action sooner rather than later. Perhaps by the Tar Heels’ ACC opener against Wake Forest on Dec. 30.

“The whole time frame is they were going to take a much closer look at it at four weeks,” Williams said. “I just go by whatever week it is and if they let him go, he can start practicing.”

Considering that UNC is 8-1 without Johnson, with the only loss coming against third-ranked Michigan State, Williams will likely err on the of caution when it comes to his return.

That’s not to say the Hall of Fame coach isn’t anxious to have Johnson back in the lineup, especially considering how well he was playing before he got hurt.

“There was one week he didn’t miss a shot the whole week,” Williams recalled. “We’d love to get him back out there.”