North Carolina’s Cole Anthony out 4-6 weeks after meniscus surgery
North Carolina Tar Heels freshman point guard Cole Anthony, a potential top pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, is set to miss the next four-to-six weeks after undergoing an arthroscopic procedure to treat a partially torn meniscus in his right knee yesterday, according to Jeff Goodman of Stadium.
Anthony, who leads UNC in scoring with 19.3 points per game, is slated to be one of the top picks in next year’s draft, but could have his stock dip due to a prolonged absence. He suffered the injury last week, as the Tar Heels were facing issues scoring.
Now without their leading scorer, they have started a downward spiral, losing their last three games and four of their last five — including a Sunday night loss to unranked Wofford at home, 68-64.
Previously a top-five program in the AP rankings, UNC will enter Wednesday’s game against sixth-ranked Gonzaga as underdogs.
Anthony’s timeline could put him in line to return by late January or early February, though arthroscopies are quite peculiar in recovery, as the tissue has already been operated on before. A partial tear is not as severe as a full tear, but does present its share of complications fully healing and North Carolina is likely to proceed with caution, even if Anthony is only bound to stay at the school for this season.
The Tar Heels are 6-4 on the season and have fallen out of the top-25 after losing to Wofford at home. Anthony has a lot banking in his recovery, including his future NBA prospects. ESPN’s latest mock draft had Anthony ranked fourth overall, behind top-pick LaMelo Ball, Georgia shooting guard James Edwards, and Memphis center James Wiseman, though a lot could change between now and whenever he returns from injury.