Thursday, November 8, 2012

Former Tar Heel Zeller Injured, Out Indefinitely

(Cleveland Cavaliers/NBA Photo)

Former North Carolina Tar Heel and first round NBA draft choice Tyler Zeller is returning to Cleveland for further evaluation after sustaining a concussion and broken cheekbone from being elbowed in the face by Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan on Monday night.

Zeller was hit under the left eye by Jordan with 5 minutes, 39 seconds left in the fourth quarter of Cleveland’s 108-101 win. X-rays taken after the game were negative, but a CT scan performed in San Francisco revealed a non-displaced fracture of his left orbital cheekbone. The first-round pick has been placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol process. He will have to be cleared by a league doctor before he can resume practicing or playing.

The Cavs said there is “no specific timeline” for Zeller’s return and that he will continue to be monitored and evaluated.

Before he got hurt, Zeller was having his best game of his new (and only four game) pro career. He scored a season-high 15 points with seven rebounds and two assists.

In those first four games, Zeller was averaging 7.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in 18.5 minutes per game.

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