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Roy Williams doing ‘a ton of rehab’ after knee replacement surgery

North Carolina coach Roy Williams celebrates the Tar Heels’ 88-74 victory over Notre Dame in the 2016 NCAA East Regional Final. Williams, who had knee replacement surgery in May, has been rehabbing while traveling this summer.
North Carolina coach Roy Williams celebrates the Tar Heels’ 88-74 victory over Notre Dame in the 2016 NCAA East Regional Final. Williams, who had knee replacement surgery in May, has been rehabbing while traveling this summer. rwillett@newsobserver.com

Roy Williams is closer to recovering from the knee replacement surgery he had in late May but it’s a process, he said, and he still has a ways to go before he’s feeling as strong as he’d like.

“It’s not perfect yet,” Williams, the North Carolina coach, said Tuesday of his right knee. “I’m walking almost without a limp. I don’t have the stamina to do my three and a half to five miles (of walking) yet.

“It’s still a little discomfort but I’m seven weeks in. Everybody tells me I’m doing great, it’s just it’s not feeling great for me and I’d like for it to be a lot better a lot quicker, but that’s part of the rehab process.”

After coaching through discomfort and pain much of last season, Williams decided in the spring to go ahead with the surgery. He had been considering replacement surgery for both of his knees, but decided to only have it done on his right one.

At the time, he considered scheduling the same procedure for his left knee for later this summer.

I’m walking almost without a limp. I don’t have the stamina to do my three and a half to five miles (of walking) yet.

Roy Williams

“And I’m not going to do that now,” Williams said. “I’m going to put it off.”

He was speaking during a teleconference for the Maui Invitational, which announced its pairings and schedule earlier in the day. The Tar Heels, who are playing in the event for the seventh time, begin the Maui Invitational on Nov. 21 against Chaminade at 11:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

[Maui Invitational schedule announced — get ready for late UNC games]

Williams’ appearance on a teleconference to discuss a November tournament was a small indication that the 2016-17 season is creeping closer. Another sign: The Tar Heels completed their fourth, and final, summer practice on Monday, Williams said.

Amid those practices and various recruiting trips, the rehab work has remained a priority. Williams said he has found places to rehab wherever he’s traveled this summer.

“Just about every town I’ve been in this summer, I find a (physical therapy) clinic and go over there and get some work done,” Williams said. “Whether it’s Charleston, S.C., Augusta, Ga. – wherever it is, I’m finding a place to go and get some work done.”

North Carolina coach Roy Williams talks about discussing knee replacement surgery with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski on Tuesday April 12, 2016 at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C.

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