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Delaney a game-day decision vs. UNC

Virginia Tech will wait until Sunday morning's shoot-around before determining whether guard Malcolm Delaney, who has a sprained left ankle, can play that night against North Carolina.

"He’s gotten better every single day," trainer Chad Hyatt said Saturday in a telephone interview as the Hokies (12-1) rode a bus to Chapel Hill, N.C. "We’re going to see how he’ll feel in the first shoot around tomorrow, but regardless, we’re very pleased with his progress."

Coach Seth Greenberg said he would listen to the trainers' advice as to whether Delaney should play against the ninth-ranked Tar Heels (11-4). He said he would not jeopardize Delaney's, and Virginia Tech's, season just so that the junior could play against North Carolina, which opens the team's ACC schedule.

Without Delaney, who leads the ACC with 19.8 points per game, Virginia Tech would be missing its most dangerous and consistent scoring option. If he cannot play, the Hokies will need a role player to step up, like Dorenzo Hudson did in scoring 41 points in a win over Seton Hall on Jan. 2.

Delaney is not listed in the starting lineup for Sunday's game in a notes packet distributed to reporters. Freshman Erick Green, who played in Delaney's place against Seton Hall, is listed as the starter.

Delaney, who suffered the injury in a win over Longwood on Dec. 30, has progressed well from what was termed a "moderate" ankle sprain. Two to three times each day, for about an hour each, Delaney rehabilitated with members of the Hokies' training staff.

At the beginning of the week, Delaney wore a walking boot and was limited to treatments to help reduce swelling. Hyatt described the sprain as "not just run of the mill; it's pretty significant."

But since Wednesday, Hyatt said, Delaney has had full range of motion and hardly any swelling. Delaney's rehabilitation became more intense in the second half of the week. Delaney has been able to shoot the past few days but has been kept out of contact drills.

By Mark Viera  |  January 9, 2010; 1:54 PM ET
 
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