CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -North Carolina sophomore Alex Stepheson will rejoin the team Monday after missing nearly a week because of a family illness.
Coach Roy Williams said the 6-foot-9 reserve forward was expected back at practice Tuesday and should play in Wednesday night's game against North Carolina-Asheville. Stepheson, a Los Angeles native, left the team Jan. 2 to return to California and missed two games.
``It's good (to have him back),'' Williams said. ``We need some other big guys, no question.''
Stepheson averages 3.5 points and 4.8 rebounds for the top-ranked Tar Heels (15-0), and is a key member of Williams' depleted rotation, backing up Deon Thompson and Tyler Hansbrough.
North Carolina has lost backup guard Bobby Frasor to a season-ending knee injury, and guard Quentin Thomas played just eight minutes in a victory at Clemson after missing two games with an ankle injury.

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