Battered Heels head to Clemson

After missing three games with a concussion, Jason Capel practiced with the team Friday for the first time since the injury. Meanwhile, the list of injured Tar Heels keeps getting longer.

UNC Athletics Communications reports that Jason Capel was cleared to practice Friday.

"Should all go well at practice today and tomorrow, then he will be expected to play at Clemson on Sunday evening," Associate Director of Athletics for Communications Steve Kirschner said Friday afternoon.

The Tar Heel senior has missed UNC's last three games due to a concussion suffered in practice. Carolina lost to Florida State, Connecticut and N.C. State while Capel was sidelined.

Capel is averaging 16.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists and leads the Tar Heels in 14 statistical categories, including minutes played, field goals, field goal attempts, free throws, free throw attempts, offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, total rebounds, assists, steals, points and scoring average. No Carolina player has led the team in scoring, rebounding and assists since UNC recorded assist leaders in 1968-69.

Freshman Jackie Manuel, who developed a stress fracture in his left foot within the last week, remains listed as day-to-day. However, it is the type of injury which could plague him for months to come.

"Because of the nature of his injury, Manuel actually may not be able to practice for remainder of the season," reads the report from the UNC AC's office. "His availability for games will be made on a game-by-game basis."

Manuel, who sat out Wednesday night's loss to N.C. State, has averaged 6.1 points and 3.7 boards in 22.5 minutes.

Several other Carolina players are also suffering from injuries.

Senior Orlando Melendez is recovering from tendonitis in his left knee and is questionable for Sunday. Melendez has averaged 17 minutes of playing time over the last two games.

Senior Kris Lang is expected to play, as he suffered a torn toenail on Wednesday that was removed by UNC doctors the following day.

An article at the UNC site notes that senior Brian Bersticker is playing through shoulder problems, and even walk-on Philip McLamb may have torn cartilage in his knee.

Inside Carolina Top Stories