Friday, December 10, 2010

White, Pianalto unlikely to play in bowl for Tar Heels

CHAPEL HILL -- As much as North Carolina's T.J. Yates would like to play his final college game with Johnny White and Zack Pianalto, Yates doesn't expect any sudden returns from either injured senior.

UNC's Music City Bowl date with Tennessee is Dec. 30, which is in the range of a return for White, from a broken collarbone, or Pianalto, from a broken leg.

"That would be nice, but I don't want them to take that risk," Yates said.

White, a senior, led the team in rushing (720 yards) before his injury at Florida State on Nov. 6. Pianalto, a senior, led the team in receiving (30 catches, 311 yards) before his injury at Virginia on Oct. 16.

UNC coach Butch Davis said White was closer to a return than Pianalto but that would depend on if White could be cleared for contact.

"There's a window of opportunity for him to heal would be between six to eight weeks and this timeline kind of falls into that," Davis said.

Davis didn't sound optimistic that either senior would be able to return for the Tar Heels' finale against Tennessee (6-6).

J.P. Giglio