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Delaney ready to play vs. UNC

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Virginia Tech guard Malcolm Delaney, who is recovering from a sprained his left ankle, is available to play in Sunday night's game here against No. 9 North Carolina, according to a team trainer.

Asked in a text message if Delaney would play, the trainer, Chad Hyatt, said: "Yes. He is."

The decision to play Delaney came after assessing the junior's health in the Hokies' shoot-around on Sunday morning.

It is not known whether Delaney will start or what his availability might be. But with Delaney available to enter the game, the Hokies (12-1) will have their best player against the talented Tar Heels (11-4), who will be without guard Marcus Ginyard, who sprained his ankle.

Coach Seth Greenberg said he would listen to the trainers' advice as to whether Delaney, who leads the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring with 19.8 points per game, should play on Sunday. Greenberg said he would not jeopardize Delaney's, and Virginia Tech's, season just so that the guard could play against North Carolina.

Delaney, who suffered the injury in a win over Longwood on Dec. 30, progressed well from 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 last week, Delaney wore a walking boot and was limited to treatments to help reduce swelling. 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, with him practicing shooting.

By Mark Viera  |  January 10, 2010; 6:55 PM ET
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