Lawson’s shrill scream quickly told the crowd that the loose ball battle on UNC's end of the court had ended horribly wrong.
“Honestly, I don’t even remember,” Lawson said. “I think I blacked out for like 10 seconds… I don’t remember what I did. They said he grabbed me and pulled me back, and I guess he fell on me, but I honestly don’t remember.”
The Clinton, Md. native watched the remaining of his squad’s 84-73 overtime victory from the UNC bench with his left ankle in a brace. The early diagnosis was a high ankle sprain – an injury to the large ligament (sydesmotic) above the ankle that joins together the tibia and the fibula.
Lawson tested the ankle out in the Tucker Center’s back hallways during the first half, but was unable to return for the Tar Heels’ sixth conference win.
This marks the second time this season that Lawson has missed the majority of a game due to an early injury – he rolled his right ankle during the opening minutes of the 73-63 Las Vegas Invitational Championship victory over BYU. Ironically, both injuries occurred after a strong Lawson performance. Prior to the win over the Cougars, the sophomore had torched Old Dominion for 23 points and five assists, and then this past Thursday, the 5-foot-11 guard posted a stat line of 16 points, 10 assists and no turnovers.
“I have no idea,” said head coach Roy Williams, when asked if Lawson would be available for Wednesday’s contest with archrival No. 3 Duke. “Nobody does… We won’t know a thing until Tuesday after practice, because I’m not going to let him practice tomorrow, and then Tuesday, we’ll see if he can do anything.”
Lawson echoed his coach in his postgame comments to the media.
“Well, I know I’m not practicing tomorrow,” he said. “Maybe practice Tuesday, [but] we’ll see how it goes. I don’t even know about Wednesday. Probably a game-time decision.”