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The Comprehensive List of Injuries in the Roy Williams Era

As a follow-up to the news incoming freshman Marcus Paige has suffered a stress fracture in his left foot and after the injury plagued season we've just seen I thought it would be interesting to catalog games missed due to injury or illness during Roy Williams' tenure in Chapel Hill.

Season Player Injury Games Missed
2004 Jackie Manuel Sprained ankle 2
2004 Jawad Williams Concussion 1
2004 Sean May Sprained ankle 1
2005 Rashad McCants Stomach ailment 4
2005 Marvin Williams Sprained toe 1
2006 Quentin Thomas Stress fracture left foot 3
2007 Bobby Frasor Foot injury 10
2007 Quentin Thomas Stress fracture left foot 9
2007 Marcus Ginyard Stomach illness 1
2007 Brandan Wright Stomach illness 1
2007 Danny Green Ankle injury 1
2008 Bobby Frasor Torn ACL 27*
2008 Ty Lawson Sprained ankle(twice) 7
2008 Will Graves Illness 1
2009 Marcus Ginyard Foot injury 35 *
2009 Tyler Zeller Broken wrist 23
2009 Tyler Hansbrough Shin reaction 4
2009 Ty Lawson Toe injury 3
2010 Ed Davis Broken wrist/sprained ankle 14*
2010 Tyler Zeller Foot injury 10
2010 David Wear Hip injury 10*
2010 Travis Wear Sprained ankle 5
2010 Marcus Ginyard Foot injury 4
2010 Will Graves Sprained ankle 1
2010 Dexter Strickland Strained hamstring 1
2011 Reggie Bullock Knee injury 10*
2011 Justin Watts Sprained ankle 3
2011 Leslie McDonald Collapsed lung 1
2012 Leslie McDonald Torn ACL 38*
2012 Dexter Strickland Torn ACL 19*
2012 John Henson Sprained wrist 3
2012 Kendall Marshall Broken wrist 2*
2012 P.J. Hairston Injured foot 1

*Denotes player could not finish the season due to injury.

At first glance this looks like a lot of injuries until you look at the breakdown. Eleven of them resulted in a player missing only one game. The number of players missing more than five plus games or at least one month of playing time is 12. Over the past nine seasons UNC has seen eight players lost for the season at the time of their injury which includs Kendall Marshall's broken wrist even though it mean he really only missed two games. Looking at the injuries themselves there have been three broken wrists, three torn ACLs, several sprained ankles, a sprained wrist, multiple ambiguous knee/ankle/foot ailments, illnesses, a fluke toe injury, a concussion and a collapsed lung.

The real question is how much of this exceeds what can normally be expected for a college basketball team with UNC's talent and schedule load. My guess is some of this is perfectly normal, especially the minor injuries and illnesses that pop up. Given the nature of basketball sprained ankles can be expected and so can torn ACLs especially considering Purdue's Robbie Hummel tore his ACL in consecutive seasons. For UNC to have three in nine years is probably on the normal side. The broken/sprained wrist however strikes me as unusual and I would lump Henson's injury in with the other three because all game on plays around the basket with the player in question falling awkwardly. Players missing games for two different injuries were: Quentin Thomas, Bobby Frasor, Tyler Zeller, Will Graves, Marcus Ginayrd, Ty Lawson, Ed Davis, Dexter Strickland and Leslie McDonald. Overall, UNC players have missed a total of 256 games in nine seasons.

The vexing thing for UNC is the fact there were so many injuries piled into a season(2012) that had such high expectations. In fact UNC has seen at least one player in the regular rotation lost for the year in each of the last five seasons. There were three of those injuries in 2012, Reggie Bullock in 2011, David Wear and Ed Davis in 2010, Marcus Ginyard in 2009 and Bobby Frasor in 2008. Prior to that, 2004-2007 were mostly free of major injuries with only Frasor and Quentin Thomas missing more than four games and everyone on the team finishing the season healthy.

Hopefully that means UNC is due for the pendulum to swing back the other direction and Chris Hirth can can enjoy a few mostly stress free seasons.