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When The Boot's On The Other Foot

Jerome Burney looked quite dapper as he took a few short-range shots prior to Friday night's game against Delaware State. He was, after all, dressed in a charcoal gray suit. But he also was fitted with a black protective boot on his right foot, a necessary step in an all-too familiar recovery process for the 6-foot-9 sophomore forward. He has a stress fracture in the foot and will miss 3-6 weeks, according to Gary Williams.

After the game, Burney said he first felt discomfort in the foot after coming down from a rebound in a drill during practice last Tuesday. "I just came down as I normally would with my toes extended and my feet extended and stuff, and then I heard a crack," Burney said. "Actually, I was limping afterwards and I was like, 'Oh my God.' I was thinking back like to my freshman year and stuff."

In the fall of 2006, Burney suffered a similar injury to his left foot. He was forced to miss his entire freshman season and claim a redshirt for his troubles. This time, Burney's pain resides in his right foot, or his "primary jumping foot" as he likes to call it.

"As it progressed, the pain started getting worse," Burney said. "I couldn't jump as high. I had to force myself to run fast. It was during drills and stuff. Tuesday. I guess (J.J. Bush, the team's sports medicine official) told me to take a break after Wednesday's practice and then I had an MRI Thursday and (Bush) also had me in a boot."

Burney -- who was averaging 6.9 minutes, 1.9 rebounds and 0.6 points per game -- said the injury felt like the beginning stages of what happened to him two years ago. This time, however, Burney is more optomistic of an expedited recovery because the team's trainers discovered the problem early.

Despite his lack of statistical production, Burney had been receiving more playing time in the games leading up to his injury and Williams acknowledged Burney had been showing sins of progress. Now, Burney must wait for his foot to heal and then begin to prove himself all over again.

"If it was my left foot, I probably wouldn't be in as much pain," Burney said. "But this is my primary jumping foot, so it's even worse."

By Steve Yanda  |  December 14, 2008; 10:06 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Milbourne On A Tear


Maryland will finish with a 15-16 record and 4-12 in the ACC



Go Tar Heels

Posted by: hclark1 | December 16, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

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