Roy Williams gave an update on Leslie McDonald in his Friday press conference.
"We're waiting for the next doctor's appointment - could be today, I don't know, it's pretty soon," Williams said Friday. "I told him I need to have some idea of what they say next. He's been released to shoot, he's been released to do dummy offense. I think the next step -- I think - is release to practice, but I don't know when that will be. When they release him to practice, we'll start talking."
It has been over four months since McDonald had surgery on the knee he injured in the NC Pro-Am. The typical recovery time for this type of surgery is 7-8 months so it stands to reason that we are still three months away from McDonald being ready. Of course if he is cleared to practice this month is stands to reason he might be ready sooner.
My question, going on four and half months now, is why there is any discussion of bringing McDonald back this season at all given how little season he might end up playing. If a return for ACC play were possible then I might buy that given what he could bring to the table. However even if he is ready to play a month from now, it could be a month or more before McDonald gets back to game shape. In some ways this might speak to some discomfort on Roy's part with only having eight players he can really ride, nine if you want to count Justin Watts. McDonald would put him in the 9-10 range which seems to be more in his wheelhouse despite the fact UNC has won titles twice under Roy with only eight solid players in the rotation.
As I have stated before, I think a redshirt is the better option. That would be two more years of an experienced player which is never a bad thing. Ultimately it is up the McDonald. I am just not convinced he will be effective this season and wasting him for a handful games seems like an odd choice. For now we wait and who knows it might be a moot point once McDonald meets with Roy.