The Herald’s Manny Navarro reported Tuesday that Johnson was not on the team bus as it embarked on its journey to DC. Two Hurricanes players told Navarro that Johnson’s knee injury is the reason the center stayed home.
“We’re all just going to have to step up,” forward Julian Gamble told the Herald. “Hopefully we get him back for the Final Four.”
Johnson, a senior center, played 18 minutes in the team’s NCAA tournament win over Illinois Sunday. He had five rebounds and did not score.
Johnson has only played more than 20 minutes once in the team’s past 12 games, but the near-300 pounder has still been a presence inside grabbing rebounds.
Since he did not make the trip, Johnson likely will not be available for the regional final should Miami defeat Marquette. The ‘Canes would face the winner of the Syracuse-Indiana game.
UPDATE: The Herald’s Michelle Kaufman says Johnson had arthroscopic surgery on his knee. If that’s the case, he’s probably done for the season.