Report: Kendall Marshall to undergo surgery this morning

CBS Sports is reporting that North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall, who fractured his right wrist in the Tar Heels’ win over Creighton on Sunday, will undergo surgery this morning.
Dennis Marshall, Kendall’s father, told Jeff Goodman that Marshall will have surgery to insert a screw into his non-shooting wrist. Then it will depend on how much pain Marshall can take as to whether he can play Friday against Ohio.
Of course, Monday morning on Tobacco Road has been filled with Marshall questions.
Can the left-handed point guard play despite a broken scaphoid bone in his right wrist?
If Marshall cannot play, can the Heels win without such an important piece of their puzzle?

(Charlotte Observer photo)

Caulton Tudor of the Raleigh News and Observer writes: “Something to keep in mind is that in March, basketball players sometimes are able to put mind over pain. Almost everyone in North Carolina feared for the health of N.C State’s David Thompson after an awful-looking spill in the 1974 East Regional in Raleigh. A few days later, he led N.C. State to wins over UCLA and Marquette for the title in Greensboro. . . .  If there’s a way – any way – for Marshall to play in St. Louis, it would take a court order to keep the guy off the court.

Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer writes: “It doesn’t look good if Marshall can’t play for the rest of the NCAA tournament – the Tar Heels next play Friday against No.13 seed Ohio in a regional semifinal in St. Louis. And it’s questionable whether he can. If Marshall can’t play, the Tar Heels’ two options then at point guard would be Stilman White or Justin Watts. It would have been Dexter Strickland, but he’s already out for the season with an injury. And while both White and Watts are well-intentioned, neither have anywhere near the head-swiveling ability of Marshall to find the open man at exactly the right time.”

The Tar Heel blog talks to an orthopedic surgeon: “The problem is this bone has a tenuous blood supply, and if it does not heal well, the bone can die (avascular necrosis or AVN). The risk would be that if he played and displaced the bone further or otherwise disrupted the fracture healing by further harming the blood supply, the bone could progress to this AVN  This can throw off the architecture of the wrist and lead to substantial accelerated arthritis which can be disabling and require significantly larger procedures like partial wrist fusion or removal of several of the wrist bones.  Fixing the fracture with a simple procedure now would be far less involved and likely prevent those larger problems.”

The Wilmington Star-News writes about Stilman White, Marshall’s little-used backup: “Stilman White arrived in Greensboro on Thursday and immediately found himself in the spotlight for being named one of the 24 “Hottest Guys of March Madness” by Cosmopolitan magazine. . . .  According to coach Roy Williams, White and senior Justin Watts will become the Tar Heels’ primary ballhandlers if starting point guard Kendall Marshall is unable to play.”
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