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August 27, 2009

Rebs' Gaskins to undergo surgery

Ole Miss guard Trevor Gaskins will have arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Friday morning in Jackson, Miss.

Recently, the 6-foot-2, 205-pound guard redshirt sophomore from Alpharetta, Ga., felt some grinding in the right knee and on Monday, he landed a little funny and felt further discomfort, prompting Rebel coach Andy Kennedy to call for an MRI. The results came back showing no tears of ligaments or cartilage. Rather, it showed a loose body or fragment in the joint.

Doctors will take it out tomorrow, and the prognosis calls for Gaskins to be back on the floor in 2-3 weeks.

"It's great news," Kennedy said. "I thought based on where he was having pain, the initial prognosis prior to having the MRI was he may have some cartilage issues. ...Thank goodness there's no new injury to report. It's simply something that needs to be taken out."

Gaskins hurt his left knee last season, tearing the ACL in October and forcing him to miss the entire season. Gaskins tore the ACL in his right knee in the spring of his junior year in high school.

Gaskins averaged 5.3 points in slightly more than 14 minutes per game as a freshman, including a 21-point performance against Mississippi Valley State and a 19-point outing in a win over then-defending national champion Florida. Gaskins was cleared to resume basketball activities this past spring and had a strong offseason.

"Honestly, he's probably more athletic now than I've ever seen him," Kennedy said. "Physically, he's probably in the best shape of his life. He's stronger and he's always been physical. He's 6-2 and about 205 pounds, and he seems to be playing more athletic than ever so we think this will even help him because it's going to take out any symptoms that he has in the right knee."

Kennedy said if the season were ongoing now, Gaskins could treat the symptoms and get through the season. However, with the start of practice still more than six weeks away, Kennedy said it was an easy decision to schedule the operation.

"We're going to clean him up so these problems don't reoccur," Kennedy said.

REBS CLOSE TO FULL STRENGTH: Kennedy said Eniel Polynice, who missed all but one game last season, is "symptom-free. He told me yesterday it's the best he's felt physically since he had the initial cartilage tear in February of his sophomore year. He's pain-free and symptom free."

Point guard Chris Warren, who tore his ACL in a December loss to Louisville in Cincinnati, has resumed individual workouts.

"If you didn't know Chris Warren's torn his ACL, you would never know," Kennedy said.

Guard Zach Graham, who played last season with a partially torn patella tendon, is still a couple of weeks or so away from being cleared for full basketball activities.

"He's symptom-free," Kennedy said. "He's anxious to go. As a matter of fact, he's in the best shape of his life. He's 6-6 and about 215. Last year, he played at 227. He's lost 10-12 pounds just by being more mature with what he's eating and what he's doing. They say six months is the critical period. You have to give it six months simply because of where it is and you have an increased potential for patella tendonitis if you go too early."

HIGH HOPES FOR BUCKNER: Freshman forward Reginald Buckner is going through individual drills on campus, and Kennedy said Thursday he's thrilled with what he's seen from the 6-8, 228-pound former Rivals100 standout.

"Physically, he has all the makings of being a tremendous player," Kennedy said. "He's like every young kid in Week One. His eyes are wide open. He's being exposed to things for the first time, but he's a kid who's going to have a great opportunity, most especially with the transfer (Malcolm White, to LSU) that we had inside. So he's going to have an opportunity early."


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