Hoops Recruiting: Cobbins Back In Action

Oklahoma State basketball signee Mike Cobbins suffered a horrifying knee injury that one witness described as "the scariest moment of the summer." But the 6-9, 215-pound has recovered from the dislocated kneecap injury, and subsequent surgery to repair a tendon tear and a medial meniscus tear. GoPokes.com checked on the health status of Cobbins as he prepares to open his senior season Friday.

Cobbins, from Amarillo, Texas, will lead his Palo Duro High School team against crosstown rival Amarillo High in the 2009-10 season opener Friday.

Any doubts as to whether Cobbins was back to 100 percent were laid to rest last Thursday when the Dons traveled to Lubbock to face Trinity Christian in a scrimmage. Cobbins had 17 rebounds in the scrimmage, according to Palo Duro head coach Jeff Evans.

"He's looked really good the last month that he's been back. He's really gotten his agility and explosiveness back," Evans said during a telephone interview this past weekend. "When he first returned from the injury he was missing a little bit of his explosiveness, which was to be expected. But the last month it's been a steady progression.

"I think he's really progressing well and is playing like he did before he was hurt. I feel like he's already back to playing like he did last year," Evans added.

Palo Duro and Trinity Christian have scrimmaged each other the last several years because Evans is a good friend with the private school's head coach. "They really know us and know how to play us, which is good.

"Of course, everybody we play knows that he's our only size threat and they're going to build their house around him. He knows he's going to be challenged in that regard this season. I thought besides it being a good test for our team, I thought it was a good test for him, and he played well," Evans said.

Cobbins, one of four players to sign a letter of intent with OSU during last week's early-signing period, will be hard pressed to duplicate his performance as a junior when he averaged 18.3 points and 10.5 rebounds for the Dons (28-4) and was selected as the Amarillo Globe-News Player of the Year.

"He's been wearing a light brace that doesn't restrict his mobility. He hasn't suffered any swelling at all, which is not typical," Evans said. "The doctor told him to expect some swelling early on because it's normal, and that it shouldn't be a concern but if there was some swelling all he needed to do was ice it down. But he hasn't had any swelling at all and he hasn't even had to ice the knee.

"The orthopedic doctor did a tremendous job with him. He also made sure he had a sports-related therapist that put him through physical therapy that was specific for an athlete. I think that was important for him being able to come back in better shape and with confidence. I think that was critical."

NOTES: OSU other two early high school signees also open their senior seasons this week, beginning with Brian Williams of Glen Oaks High School in Baton Rouge, La., playing tonight against LaGrange. Also, Markel Brown of Peabody Magnet High School in Alexandria, La., leads his team against Jonesboro in a home game Tuesday night.

Story on Markel Brown

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