Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

ONE LAST HURRAH NASIR ROBINSON: THE PAIN OF A DRAINING? SEASON A Knee Injury Has Slowed His Final? Year with the Panthers, but He? Continues to Battle and Fight? until the End as He Prepares for ?His Last Regular-Season Home? Game Tonight against St. John's

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

ONE LAST HURRAH NASIR ROBINSON: THE PAIN OF A DRAINING? SEASON A Knee Injury Has Slowed His Final? Year with the Panthers, but He? Continues to Battle and Fight? until the End as He Prepares for ?His Last Regular-Season Home? Game Tonight against St. John's

Article excerpt

Pitt forward Nasir Robinson has been to the doctor more times than he has celebrated victories this season. That's never the recipe for a prosperous senior year.

There is daily pain in his surgically repaired knee. Regularly scheduled procedures to drain fluid allow him to practice and play in games. Team doctors and trainers have been taken aback by the amount of fluid that has to be taken from his swollen right knee.

"It has the doctors shaking their heads," coach Jamie Dixon said.

Robinson is not 100 percent. Far from it, he said Monday afternoon as he prepared to play the final regular-season home game of his career tonight against St. John's.

If he were an underclassman, Robinson said he would have considered applying for a medical redshirt.

"Most definitely I would have thought about it," Robinson said. "I'm not 100 percent. I'm not making excuses. It's something I've been battling through all season."

He continued: "It's painful. This is my last year. I just try to fight through it every practice and do what I have to do to help my teammates."

Dixon always has had a soft spot for Robinson, a three-year starter whose game is unpolished in many ways but remains effective. He is the type of player who has thrived in Dixon's program -- an underdog who has to play with grit to have success.

Robinson is a 6-foot-5 power forward who has 871 career points and 572 career rebounds despite routinely going up against players 3- 5 inches taller.

This season has been a struggle. He has had to sit out practices and he has to block out the pain when game time comes.

Despite the constant visits to the doctor and the treatment room of team trainer Tony Salesi, Robinson has started every game this season. He is the team's top rebounder (6.8 per game) and the third- leading scorer (11.1 ppg).

"He's battling," Dixon said. "Every time [Salesi] tells me how much is drained he's amazed. Last week, there was one day, he was supposed to get it drained, and it didn't need [to be] drained. The next day there was a huge amount. It's been hard to predict and totally inconsistent as to why and when it comes. Taking days off has not helped it. …

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