SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Kennedy Meeks is not exactly sure when he bruised his left knee, although his best guess is a bump or a fall during a summer pickup game. The injury lingered throughout the preseason and into December, where the pain eventually caught up with him in Texas.
Meeks, who missed seven games due to the injury, returned to the lineup for No. 6 North Carolina’s 84-73 win over Syracuse at the Carrier Dome on Saturday. He scored eight points on 4-of-8 shooting and grabbed two offensive rebounds in 14 minutes.
“Overall, I feel good,” Meeks said following the victory. “After the game it was a little sore but that’s what the doctor said would happen. So I’ve just got to stay aware, keep getting better and doing rehab, then it will take care of itself. We’ve got a week off, so hopefully I’ll be full go against [N.C.] State.”
The Charlotte, N.C. product spent the past month rehabbing by logging long hours on the bike and in the pool. His conditioning work centered on core exercises to keep his upper body strong.
“When my knee gets back right, I’ll start focusing more on squats,” Meeks said. “The biggest thing for me right now is that I’ve got to get my legs back under me.”
After returning to practice in limited action on Wednesday and Thursday, Meeks completed his first full practice session on Friday. As such, the game plan was to get him back on the court against the Orange while keeping his minutes at a minimum.
When asked if he was past the injury, Meeks replied: “I feel like I’m passing it, for sure. I’m a lot better.”