North Carolina head coach Roy Williams said he’s “scared to death” over the health of star point guard Joel Berry after Berry injured his left ankle in Sunday’s Elite Eight win over Kentucky.
Berry rolled the ankle on a drive about five minutes into Sunday’s game. He exited and limped to the locker room, and was replaced by Stilman White, but returned four minutes later. He played 33 total minutes and scored 11 points in the Tar Heels’ win.
— Marilyn Payne (@marilyn_payne) March 26, 2017
The left ankle injury came nine days after Berry rolled his right ankle in a first-round win over Texas Southern. That injury dogged Berry in North Carolina’s second-round game against Arkansas, and his performance suffered. He made just two of 13 field goal attempts.
Williams addressed Berry’s status at a news conference Monday, and detailed the plan for the week.
Berry got extra treatment Monday from doctors and trainers, Williams said, but didn’t do anything basketball-related. “He’s got a pretty full schedule of rehab this afternoon,” Williams said Monday. “We probably won’t let him do anything tomorrow.”
“Hopefully by the time we get to Thursday or Friday, he’ll be able to do some things in practice,” Williams said. “But I’m scared to death right now because I don’t know.”
Williams also noted that the team will fly out to Phoenix Tuesday night as opposed to Wednesday, in part to accommodate Berry. “Some people’s feet do swell when they get on an airplane,” Williams said. “If that’s going to happen to Joel, I’d rather it happen on Tuesday night than Wednesday night.”
North Carolina tips off against Oregon at 8:49 p.m. ET on Saturday. The Tar Heels need Berry to be as close to 100 percent as possible to contend with Oregon’s talented backcourt.