At 8-10 with a 1-6 ACC record, Roy Williams’ North Carolina Tar Heels are in dead last in the conference. The team’s issues go far beyond Cole Anthony’s injury, but obviously losing the most talented player on the roster hasn’t helped.
Anthony has stayed upbeat about his return. He’s said various times that he will be back soon.
That won’t happen until he practices first, of course. He hasn’t yet been able to do that, which puts this Saturday’s game against Miami in serious doubt, as well as Monday’s trip to NC State.
The initial prognosis for Anthony’s partially torn meniscus was 4-6 weeks of recovery. Monday will be the start of week six, and Roy Williams says that there is still no definite update on his timeline.
— ABC11Charlie Mickens (@GameDayCharlie) January 24, 2020
When asked about Cole Anthony’s hints at his impending return on social media and elsewhere, Williams said he believes the freshman guard is just trying to quiet those who believe he will skip the rest of the season and make the jump to the NBA.
He also confirmed that the team is taking things slow, and won’t rush him back amid the team’s struggles.
“‘I think he got tired of people saying, ‘Oh he’s just delaying it. He’s not coming back.’ I don’t have any doubts that he’s coming back, it’s just that we are waiting for the doctors to say it’s time for him to do it,’ Williams said.
“Williams has said that the coaches, trainers and doctors would never try to rush Anthony back. ‘Again I go into everybody’s home saying, ‘I am going to treat your son like I would want you to treat mine.’ So why should we not be very cautious?’ the Hall of Famer added. ‘I think the world of him, but I’m not going to do that.'”
Anthony averaged 19.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game before going out with his injury.
The Tar Heels were 6-3 with Anthony active, though they had lost three of their last four games before he went out. The team is 2-7 without him, for an 8-10 (1-6) record on the year.