|ESPN.com: NCAA Tourney 12||[Print without images]|
ST. LOUIS -- North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall participated in some non-contact shooting, passing and dribbling drills during practice Saturday.
As of right now, it's like yesterday: I'm not playing. But if I do continue to feel better, there's no telling -- I could be out there playing.” -- UNC point guard Kendall Marshall
But the sophomore Cousy Award finalist said he would not have played if the Tar Heels' regional final was that day.
As for Sunday, when the top-seeded Tar Heels face No. 2 seed Kansas?
"I don't know," Marshall said in the locker room at the Edward Jones Dome, his right wrist and elbow wrapped in ice. "We'll see tomorrow. We'll see how I feel after shootaround. ...
"As of right now, it's like yesterday: I'm not playing. But if I do continue to feel better, there's no telling -- I could be out there playing."
The health of Marshall -- a left-handed ballhandler who fractured his right wrist Sunday, had surgery to insert a screw in it Monday, and had his hard cast replaced with a stabilizing brace Wednesday -- has been under constant scrutiny since the injury. UNC managed to beat No. 13-seeded Ohio without him, in overtime, on Friday. But the offense looked out of sync and the Tar Heels committed a season-high 24 turnovers.
Marshall said he was fitted Saturday morning for a new brace that he wore in practice and would wear during a game. It's more sturdy than the one he's been using and keeps him from bending the surgically-repaired wrist too much.
He said catching and passing were the toughest things during practice, as he only has about 20 percent range of motion in the wrist.
"But I felt like I did a good job today ... I feel like it's getting better every day."
There was some pain, he added, which was to be expected.
Marshall said a five-person committee of himself, his parents, the team trainer and coach Roy Williams ultimately will decide when he is ready to play.
"Today's the first day he's bounced a ball," Williams said. "It's the first day he's caught a ball. It's the first day that he's shot a ball. We kept him out of all the live stuff. Now we want to see if it bothers him or if it pains him or if it swells up or if his toes curl or whatever happens next. And then tomorrow at shootaround, we'll try to probably do the same thing.
"And then there's two things that have to happen: One, he has to feel comfortable that he's not hurting. And then two, I have to decide, can he be effective in the game with his situation?"
If Marshall is a scratch, expect freshman Stilman White -- who recorded six assists with zero turnovers against Ohio -- to make his second straight start, against Kansas.
"I could wake up tomorrow and be sore; I could wake up tomorrow and be feeling better, as I have been doing all week," Marshall said. "We'll wait until after shootaround tomorrow to see."
Robbi Pickeral covers North Carolina men's basketball for ESPN.com.