Wednesday, November 19

Ouch

North Carolina forward Zeller out for the season

This is just my opinion, but I don't think the Kentucky player who fouled Zeller should be held at fault for the wrist. Byron and I both agreed that it was questionable whether Zeller was actually fouled in the first place, and it didn't appear from watching the replays that the Kentucky player caused him to land funny on his wrist. Zeller was going at top speed down the floor, drew enough contact for him to miss the dunk (but certainly not enough to be an intentional foul), and thus was coming down too quickly to be able to brace his fall properly. Again, just my thoughts.

Update: From SI "Zeller had surgery Wednesday to repair fractures in two places, a recovery that normally would take 12 to 16 weeks." Also, thanks for the info from Byron, looks he is opting for surgery and that it is a pretty severe break. Just an FYI: 16 weeks is March 11th but the Heels may take the medical red-shirt route.

5 comments:

Ryan said...

I think you guys were a tad too easy on the fouler (not sure who). It was definitely a foul, I really don't see Little Tyler ending up in the first row of photographers if he wasn't clipped, but he was just that, fouled, not intentionally fouled or flagrantly fouled, just fouled.

My real question is for Byron. Byron, you're a doctor (well you're 3/8 of the way there), you read this blog (about 3/8 of the time). How can a wrist injury keep an athlete out for an entire season? I broke my wrist when I was little, and it took a month to get my cast off. Unless he did some serious damage to his ligaments or some broken carpals shouldn't he have a cast off (of his left arm) in mid-February at the latest?

Byron said...

First off, we haven't had our MSK block yet, and I don't have the time currently to research this, so the following is mostly speculative. Obviously, his return will be dependent on the extent and location of the injuries. One broken wrist does not equal another. Without having seen the x-rays, it's difficult to know what exactly is meant by a broken wrist, unless Dr. Taft describes it at some point. He may have fractured his distal radius, but he may have also fractured his ulna, or one or more of the carpal bones. Surgical correction may be required, particularly if there is ligamentous involvement. The nature of the fracture (simple, comminuted, etc.) will also dictate the course.

Looking at the replay, it's difficult to see the orientation of his hand as he goes down, but it didn't seem like a classic fall-on-an-outstreched hand (classic for a scaphoid fracture). Rather, he seemed to turn his whole body and land with all that weight on his left wrist/forearm, which seems to make a radial/ulnar fracture more likely.

One more thing to consider: he may have an injury that would normally just be treated with a cast (and accepting some functional limitation), but elected for surgery given that he (hopefully) has a long basketball career ahead of him.

All that said, I have very little idea how long such injuries take to heal. But if there was extensive injury (multiple fractures, ligament involvement), it wouldn't at all surprise me to see him in street clothes for the rest of the season.


As far as the foul goes, it's really hard to tell. He probably did get clipped a little, but I think if he makes the dunk uneventfully, it doesn't get called. I agree that it was, in no way, a dirty play. Just unfortunate.

Cason said...

It was Ramon Harris who fouled Zeller and while he didn't appear to hit Zeller's arm, he definitely made contact in the air, which caused Zeller to lose balance and land like he did. However, we don't know whether Zeller broke his wrist on the missed dunk or breaking his fall. I assumed it was the former but only Little Big Tyler knows for certain.

John said...

The wrist was broken upon landing. If you watch the replay, he jams his right hand on the backboard after the missed dunk, but lands funny on his left wrist (the broken one) after the play. Zeller has both a fractured radius and ulna, the result of too much weight being placed on the hand.

Ryan said...

agreed, the break was from the fall, but that certainly doesn't make the play not a foul.