UNC’s McDonald says knee is ‘100 percent’

acarter@newsobserver.comJune 6, 2012 

UNC's Leslie McDonald (2) shoots while defended by Clemson's Milton Jennings (24) in overtime during UNC's 92-87 overtime victory over Clemson in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament Saturday March 12, 2011, at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C.

ETHAN HYMAN — ehyman@newsobserver.com

— Leslie McDonald’s world changed last summer, when he was playing in the Greater NC Pro Am, a summer league at North Carolina Central. McDonald, the junior guard at North Carolina, suffered a knee injury – a torn ACL – that put an early end to his college season.

Nearly one year later, McDonald said on Wednesday that he has recovered from his injury.

“I am 100 percent back and the knee feels fine,” McDonald said. “I have no problems in the knee.”

And no problems playing in the same summer league, either.

McDonald said he plans to play in the pro-am, which features a mix of local college players present and past. Last summer, McDonald played on the same team as former Duke star Kyrie Irving, who went on to average 18.5 points per game during his rookie season with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“I do plan to play in the pro-am,” McDonald said. “Not as much as I did last year, or last summer. But I do expect to play a couple of games.”

McDonald, never one for superstitions, said he wouldn’t let the bad memory of a year ago decide whether he’d play this summer.

“Like I told everybody, freak accidents happen,” McDonald said. “It could have happened anywhere. It could have happened in practice, it could have happened in a game. And just for me, I’m not very superstitious about things. So the pro-am itself is not the reason why I hurt myself. I think the reason why I hurt myself is just because – it was just a freak accident.

“So you know, I can’t blame the pro-am on that.”

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