CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Theo Pinson was in uniform on Wednesday night for the first time this season, but isn't yet close to returning to game action.
The junior, who is recovering from a fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot suffered during preseason practice in October, was released this week for "basketball-type activities," according to head coach Roy Williams.
"They did a CT scan this week, said it looks good, and they've released him for basketball-type activities, which means getting in basketball shape and seeing what he can handle," Williams said. "So far he's handled it."
Pinson had surgery on Oct. 26 and was projected to need 8-12 weeks to rehabilitate.
"When the trainers and strength coaches tell me that they think he can start practicing, he will not play the next day - he's got to have some time going in practice," Williams said.
"When they originally said 8-12 weeks, I think it's going to be closer to 12 weeks than eight."
Pinson was a projected starter and major contributor this season and his teammates are expecting that upon his return.
“He’s all energy,” junior wing Justin Jackson said. “He’s been working a lot on his shot, so we’re looking for him to come back and be able to knock down some shots. And then defensively, be able to interrupt what they’re trying do on offense. With him, it gives us another option to go small out there, so it adds a little bit more versatility to our team.”