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Knee update No. 2: Dexter Strickland

11/1/2011

CHAPEL HILL -- After suffering a slight tear in his right meniscus in early February, starting shooting guard/backup point guard Dexter Strickland opted not to have knee surgery, toughing his way through the rest of last season (and actually having the knee feel a whole lot better during the NCAA tournament).

The North Carolina junior didn’t have surgery over the summer, either; he says his knee feels great without it.

“It’s amazing. It doesn’t hurt me at all; I can run jump -- do all of the things I could do before,’’ Strickland, who averaged 7.5 points and 27 minutes as a sophomore, said earlier this week.

That wasn’t the case after the Florida State home win last season, when the twinges Strickland had been feeling started turning into swelling. He had torn the meniscus in his left knee in high school (and ultimately had surgery), and, when he started feeling similar pain, suspected another tear.

“And I just broke down and starting crying, because I knew was the deal was,’’ he said. “ ... Me, I have a high tolerance for pain, so I decided to play through it. ... During the Duke game, it was hurting me a lot and stuff like that, but the trainers here did a great job of getting me through with the right therapy.”

Such a good job, that he was pain free during the NCAA tournament -- and has been since.

“If I had to say one thing, God made my knee great,’’ Strickland said. “It’s amazing.”

Follow Robbi Pickeral on Twitter at @bylinerp