The University of North Carolina sports information department just confirmed what had been the worst-kept secret all day: freshman 7-footer Tyler Zeller suffered a broken left wrist at the end of Tuesday night's 77-58 defeat of Kentucky.
He had surgery today and is expected to miss 12-16 weeks — or in simpler language, the rest of the season. That's a bad break, no pun intended, for UNC but if there's one team that can handle such a loss its the No. 1-ranked Tar Heels.
Look for consensus national player of the year Tyler Hansbrough to return very soon. Carolina head coach Roy Williams stated after Tuesday's game, he thought (emphasis on "thought") Hansbrough was already capable of returning from the stress reaction in one of his shins that had sidelined him for the first two regular-season games.
With a game Friday at UC Santa Barbara and then onto the Maui Invitational, Hansbrough probably needs to be on the floor, in the mix, sooner rather than later.
Zeller is a tough loss but the Heels have plenty of depth inside with Deon Thompson, Danny Green, freshman Ed Davis and even William Graves. Besides, Zeller probably wasn't going to get a lot of minutes with Hansbrough's return imminent.