North Carolina reserve guard P.J. Hairston, who suffered a concussion during Tuesday night's win at Boston College, was showing improvement Wednesday, the Tar Heels announced, but he is doubtful to play Saturday against Virginia Tech.
"We're certainly pleased that P.J. is feeling better, but it is unlikely that he will play on Saturday," UNC athletics trainer Chris Hirth said in a prepared statement released by the school.
Hairston, who had 14 early points against the Eagles, was playing defense with about four minutes left in the first half when he took an elbow to the head during a mid-air collision with teammate Dexter Strickland.
Hairston lay on the floor in obvious pain for several moments, being attended to by Hirth and coach Roy Williams, before teammates tried to help him back to the bench. But Hairston appeared woozy and lost his balance after a step or two. He was eventually taken off the court via stretcher.
After being diagnosed with a concussion, he sat near the end of the bench in the second half for a stretch before returning to the locker room. After the game, a post on Hairston's Twitter account read: "Thanks to everyone for the support, I'm okay just a very very bad headache...."
Hairston, averaging 12.4 points this season, has been particularly effective in his last three games. Against Georgia Tech last week, he scored 15 points in 17 minutes; at North Carolina State, he recorded 19 points in 17 minutes; and Tuesday night, he scored 14 points in 12 minutes.
With the sharpshooting sophomore likely out, UNC (14-6, 4-3 ACC), at least, will return another reserve guard on Saturday. Redshirt junior Leslie McDonald, suspended for the last three games because of academic issues, is expected to be back for the Virginia Tech game. McDonald also missed three previous games because of a sore knee, and is averaging 8.4 points per game, fourth-best on the team.