UNC forward could miss six to eight weeks

Updated: November 5, 2003, 6:58 PM ET

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina forward David Noel tore ligaments in his right thumb and is expected to be out six to eight weeks.

The 6-foot-6 sophomore injured the thumb in practice Tuesday, coach Roy Williams said.

"I am so disappointed for David and our team," Williams said Wednesday. "David worked hard in the offseason to develop his all-around game and that work had shown well in his play in the first weeks of practice"

Noel played in all 35 games last season, averaging 5.9 points and 3.5 rebounds. Noel was the only regular to shoot better than 50 percent from the field.

Noel had career-bests of 21 points and 12 rebounds against DePaul in the first round of the NIT.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index