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Injury Report: Graves and Thompson

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It would not be a Roy Williams press conference without discussions of who is injured. Taking their spots on the wounded list this week are Will Graves and Deon Thompson:

In a season that has seen eight different North Carolina players miss at least one game because of injury, it wasn’t all that surprising to learn that two Tar Heels – Deon Thompson (sore back) and Will Graves (who has been in a walking boot because of a sprained ankle) -- are hobbling entering Saturday’s game at No. 4 Duke.

Coach Roy Williams said he is hopeful that both will play, although it will be a game-time decision.

But Thompson – who has never missed a game, and missed the first practice of his career Thursday – said there’s no question about his status, even if he’s hurting: "I’ll play tomorrow."

I would point out that for all the crap that gets dumped on Deon Thompson he has never missed a game and Thursday was the first time he missed practice. I would think that counts for something unless someone would like to argue that he simply does not do enough to risk injury in either case. At any rate, Thompson says he is playing regardless of the back pain mainly because he already called dibs on having the visitor's locker room named after him should the Heels make it five straight Saturday night.

It sounds like Will Graves' ankle has the structural integrity of an empty can of Coke. Put a little weight on it and it collapses. Sprained ankles are tough to recover from and keep from spraining again. The fact he keeps doing it makes me wonder whether or not he is wearing a brace. Honestly, I have not paid any attention to that detail watching on TV. Given the Heels need as much scoring as they can muster. The fact Deon Thompson has historically played some good games vs Duke and Graves can be a good shooter means having both of them is really a must. Plus I think they might be running out of players over there.