Or it might be a disturbance of an ancient Indian burial ground near the Dean Dome, but either way there is something otherworldly going on in terms of the Heels’ injury woes because David Wear becomes the latest Carolina player to get hurt, reportedly with a torn labrum that will sideline him for the rest of the year.
That leaves only Deon Thompson, John Henson, Larry Drew and Leslie McDonald as the only scholarship players who have NOT missed time at some point this year due to injury, and even Henson and Drew have had hand problems that have required attention from the trainers and tapes/braces to be used in-game. Though there haven’t been any catastrophic (am I allowed to use that word yet?) injuries of the career-changing variety, there has been a steady stream of lower-body problems with this team, as players have experienced everything from your garden-variety sprained ankle to your stress fractures and hip problems.
Tar Heel Fan asks the questions that seem to be on the minds of quite a few of us:
We could obviously speculate as to the cause of these injuries. Too much strength and conditioning work? Just a freak run of injuries? Or could it be that the change in the head trainer which occurred after the 2008 season has something to do with it. Based on what we have seen there appear to be more injuries in the almost two seasons since Marc Davis left than the first five years he worked under Roy Williams. Of course the nature and cause of the injuries matter a great deal. I do think plenty of questions have been raised as to why Marcus Giyard’s original foot injury took so long to heal then required surgery and then Ginyard still did not make it back. Now, I have no idea what goes on in the training room at UNC. Therefore I cannot say definitively that preventive measures and treatments used by the current staff are inadequate. I am merely pointing out that there appears to be a significant uptick in player injures since Marc Davis left and Chris Hirth took over.
I grant you the run of injuries since Skate left has been surprising, but given the nature of the game of basketball it’s incredibly difficult to speculate whether or not the training staff had anything to do with it - it’s an up-and-down game, and UNC (normally) features a fast-paced system where even the biggest players on the floor run a great deal, putting more even more stress on their bodies. Here’s hoping that this team can sacrifice a goat or do whatever needs to be done in the offseason because if the injury rate doesn’t return to the norm this team will find it much more difficult to climb back into ACC and national prominence.