Harris Adjusting to Playing with Broken Hand

Virginia coach Tony Bennett says the padded brace on sophomore guard Joe Harris' broken left hand could soon be shrinking.

Harris fractured a bone in his non-shooting hand nine days ago, during the Cavaliers' loss at North Carolina. According to Bennett, doctors said if Harris got to about 10-12 days without re-injuring the hand, the injury could heal to the point where the brace could be streamlined.

"I don't know if we're at that point, but he's getting closer," Bennett said Monday.

Harris has scored eight points in two games since the injury, including six in Saturday's 71-44 win at home over Maryland. Harris was back in the starting lineup for that game after coming off the bench in last Tuesday's loss at Clemson.

"He felt better on Saturday; not great," Bennett said on Monday, referring to a missed lay-up that Harris "shot-put" in the first half against the Terrapins.

"He just doesn't have great control with it," he said. "The shot's a little slower, but he still gave us a lift."

Teammates say Harris has shown improvement while learning to deal with the brace.

"I think Clemson, he wasn't used to it," forward Mike Scott said after the Maryland game. "Now that's he's had couple practices under his belt, two games. Now he's starting to get some more reps."

"He's getting comfortable everyday in practice, and each game," agreed junior guard Jontel Evans. "The first game he was kind of second-guessing himself, but now he's more comfortable. Still can shoot the ball great. I just feel like as the season goes on, he's going to get even more comfortable with it, and adjust to it."

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