Moran Nearing Return

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Preseason All-America third baseman Colin Moran, who is recovering from a broken right hand, could return to No. 6 North Carolina's lineup as early as Apr. 30, according to UNC head coach Mike Fox.

The sophomore suffered a fracture of the fourth and fifth metacarpals in his right hand during North Carolina's 3-1 loss to N.C. State on Mar. 24. Dr. Don Bynum performed the surgery on Moran's hand on Mar. 27.

Moran began hitting off a tee on Thursday after being given permission by his doctor earlier in the day. Fox told that he also hit groundballs to Moran with Incrediballs on Thursday.

"One of his bones is completely healed, the other one's not quite, so when they take the X-ray, they can see those callouses on there a little bit," Fox said, adding that Moran took part in pregame warmups before UNC's 11-4 loss to Georgia Tech on Friday.

"I'm sure it's a little sore, but he's going to go back on the 30th of April and it's our hope at that time that he'll be fully cleared then," Fox said. "But it won't be until Apr. 30."

The Rye, N.Y., native leads the Tar Heels with a .389 average on the year with seven doubles, two home runs and a team-best 24 RBI in 22 games played.

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