UNC All-American Larkins break bone in left hand

Updated: January 2, 2008, 1:06 AM ET
Associated Press

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina All-American Erlana Larkins broke her left hand Sunday in a win over Liberty.

The senior forward injured the hand while reaching for a rebound with 17:24 left in No. 4 North Carolina's 88-67 victory. She screamed and fell to the floor, holding the hand as play continued for about 20 seconds.

Coach Sylvia Hatchell said a preliminary examination showed a broken bone inside the palm. Larkins was taken to UNC Hospitals for X-rays and further treatment.

"It's her left [non-shooting] hand," Hatchell said. "Knowing Erlana, she'll be OK. She's tough."

UNC orthopedic physician Dr. Tim Taft examined the hand briefly along with trainers before Larkins was taken to the locker room. She returned less than 10 minutes later with the hand wrapped over ice and watched the rest of the game from the bench.

A three-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference player, Larkins was a third team Associated Press All-American and MVP of the 2007 NCAA Dallas Regional as a junior. She won a gold medal playing with the U.S. Pan American Games team last summer.

Larkins ranks first in team history in field-goal shooting (.577) and came into Sunday's game averaging 11 points, fourth highest on the team, and a team best 8.5 rebounds a game.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press