March 25, 2014

UNC's Stephen Kelly Out Indefinitely After Wrist Surgery

by Corey McLaughlin | | Twitter | McLaughlin Archive

North Carolina freshman faceoff man Stephen Kelly had surgery to repair a broken wrist on Tuesday and his return date is to be determined. (Peyton Williams)

As fourth-ranked North Carolina works veteran faceoff man R.G. Keenan back in the fold from injury, the Tar Heels have lost another faceoff option.

The team confirmed Tuesday that freshman Stephen Kelly is out indefinitely, after having surgery on a broken right wrist on Monday. Kelly suffered the injury in the first quarter of last Tuesday's 13-10 win over Harvard, but played the rest of the game, winning 13 draws against the Crimson.

In a press release, the North Carolina athletic department said a date of return for Kelly has not been determined. He won 74 of 121 faceoffs this season (61.2 percent) and led the Tar Heels with 47 ground balls.

"We're thrilled the surgery for Stephen was successful," North Carolina coach Joe Breschi said. "We wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to the future date when he is medically cleared to compete again."

Keenan, meanwhile, went 0-for-6 in limited action last week against Harvard and Maryland, his first two games back from injury. He had not played since the Tar Heels' season-opener. With Kelly out against the Terps, Brent Armstrong (6-for-16) helped pick up some of the slack against former U.S. under-19 team teammate Charlie Raffa, who finished 16-for-23 in a losing effort. Keenan went 0-for-4 in the game and Frankie Kelly, older brother of Stephen, was 1-for-3.

The Tar Heels (7-2) on Saturday match up against No. 10 Johns Hopkins (5-2) at Homewood Field in Baltimore. The Blue Jays have faceoff man Drew Kennedy, who has won 67.7 percent of his draws this year.

North Carolina also announced Tuesday that freshman defenseman Jack Lambert recently had surgery to report a torn ACL in his right knee, an injury suffered in the closing second of the Tar Heels' game against Manhattan on Feb. 16. Lambert is out for the year and is eligible for a medical redshirt.

"Unfortunately Jack was lost for the season but we are looking forward to him having a full recovery and being 100 percent again for us next fall," Breschi said.

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