Kendall Marshall in removable splint

Updated: March 21, 2012, 8:15 PM ET
By Robbi Pickeral | ESPN.com

North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall had the cast removed from his fractured right wrist on Wednesday and is now wearing a removable splint, the player's father said.

"All I know is he got it off this morning. Swelling is down, incision looks good," Dennis Marshall said in a text to ESPN.com.

Kendall Marshall's status for top-seeded North Carolina's NCAA Midwest Region semifinal game against Ohio on Friday remains undetermined. In an appearance Wednesday on "Mike and Mike in the Morning" on ESPN Radio, coach Roy Williams reiterated the Tar Heels are still preparing to play without Marshall.

"What we're going to do is just practice every day, and if something weird happens that they say he can play, I'm probably going to let the guy play. But I just do not foresee that happening," Williams told the radio show.

There is still a chance the Cousy Award finalist, who had surgery Monday to insert a screw into his wrist, could play against 13th-seeded Ohio. But as of right now, Williams said, he has "no idea" what factors will indicate whether Marshall can play, because he's in uncharted territory.

"If he comes running in here now and says, 'God, I can play!' I'll say, 'Well, let's talk about it,' " Williams said Tuesday. "But he's in a frickin' cast. ... I cannot give you any answers. I've given everybody all the answers I can give, because I have said honestly, I do not know."

"You know what I've got?" Williams added. "I've got a bunch of kids that have handled adversity. ... And they've bounced back."

Meanwhile, there is a movement of fans who are writing Marshall's No. 5 on their right wrists in support of the nation's assists leader.

Without Marshall, the Tar Heels -- who lost backup point guard/starting shooting guard Dexter Strickland to a knee injury in January -- will use freshman Stilman White (4.3 minutes per game) and senior Justin Watts (who has played only two stints at point guard this season) as ball handlers.

"One thing I'm trying to get them to understand is, you can help us by not hurting us,'' Williams said on the radio Wednesday. "Don't try to be Kendall Marshall; be what you are. Secure the basketball, don't put the ball in jeopardy, and move the ball up the floor as quick as you can by dribble or pass. Make the easiest play. ...

"I think it will kind of be like a quarterback in football: 'We've got other good players; don't you try to be the dominating factor in the game; get the ball to those other guys and let them make plays.' "

Robbi Pickeral covers North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball for ESPN.com.

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