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January 29, 2013

Hairston suffers concussion

North Carolina sophomore wing P.J. Hairston suffered a concussion during Tuesday night's UNC-Boston College game in BC's Conte Forum.

In the latter stages of the first half Hairston had a midair collision with teammate Dexter Strickland as they both attempted to defend a Boston College layup attempt under the basket.

Hairston appeared to collide with Strickland's left elbow directly in the face, clearly stunning him before a violent collision to the floor.

Hairston's head whipped back upon landing, resulting in whiplash, and he showed clear signs of pain immediately after coming to the ground.

"I think it was actually Dexter that did it (hit Hairston)," said head coach Roy Williams in his postgame interview. "I didn't think he hit his head on the floor. Dexter said he hit him when I first walked out on the floor (to check on Hairston)."

Unable to walk initially under his own power, Hairston was removed from the baseline area by a couple of teammates and then placed upon a stretcher. He was taken away from the court and concussion tests were conducted.

The Tar Heel Sports Network first reported that Hairston suffered a concussion and wouldn't return to the second half of the game, although he was seen responsive and walking around shortly after the incident.

Coach Williams confirmed after the game that Hairston was concussed.

"They (the medical staff) do feel that he has a concussion," Williams said.

During the second half Hairston returned to the UNC bench, where he sat with his teammates with a towel over his head briefly before again leaving the court area.

Prior to his injury Hairston was UNC's leading scorer in the game, connecting on four straight three pointers in the early going and 14 total points to help the Tar Heels break out the double-digit lead that ultimately led to an 82-70 triumph over the Eagles.

"He (Hairston) looked like he was about as hot as I've ever seen him in my life. We would have liked to have had him longer," said Williams.

It was confirmed by UNC officials before the conclusion of the game that Hairston would be able to fly home with the team and wouldn't have to be hospitalized in the Boston area overnight.

But it remains to be seen if Hairston will be available for Saturday afternoon's game against Virginia Tech in the Smith Center, as concussions, depending on severity, can lead to a few days or perhaps a week or more out of commission.

"Who knows what the next step is going to be," said Williams of Hairston's status for upcoming games.










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