Archive for Friday, October 25, 1996


October 25, 1996


An aspiring doctor, C.B. McGrath watched a videotape of his own arthroscopic knee surgery.

"I stopped the tape with 10 minutes to go. I popped in 'Days,''' said McGrath, Kansas' junior basketball point guard, who became bored with the simple procedure and turned to his favorite soap opera, "Days of Our Lives," instead.

"I'm addicted. It comes on at 12 (p.m.) so I tape it."

In the old days, McGrath would be spending the next couple of months watching re-run after re-run of "Days," instead of practicing basketball. Arthroscopic knee surgery used to keep a player out several months.

Now, however, thanks to modern technology, McGrath is expected to return to practice sometime next week, just days after surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee.

"They used to have to remove the cartilage," said McGrath, who suffered the injury during a layup drill prior to last Friday's Late Night With Roy Williams basketball scrimmage. "Now they make three small incisions and cut around the parts that are torn."

Not knowing much about torn cartilage prior to his injury, McGrath was devastated when told he needed surgery.

"I was tired of being injured," said the normally upbeat McGrath, who had offseason surgery to repair a broken bone in his left wrist.

"When the doc (Mark Cairns, KU trainer) says 'torn cartilage' I don't know what that means. The last time I had surgery I had a cast on 100 days. Once I heard I'd be out a week or two, I felt a lot better. I was fine."

In fact, after the hour-long operation, Topekan McGrath hopped out of his Lawrence Memorial Hospital bed and stopped by KU basketball practice.

"I felt great when I woke up. They shot painkiller in my knee," said McGrath. "I felt like going and wanted to show the guys I was all right. The next day I didn't get up. I didn't feel so good."

Prescribed painkillers have helped alleviate pain.

"(Wednesday) I went to practice and kept nodding off. One of the coaches told me to go home and take a nap. They knock me out," McGrath said.

He doesn't have nightmares about the way the injury occurred.

"I came down (after making layup) on both legs, it hurt and I jogged it off," said McGrath, who played in the Late Night scrimmage.

"I didn't pay any attention to it at all in the game. At 2 in the morning, I woke up and it was stiff. I couldn't bend it or straighten it.

"I thought it was a sore knee. I went to tailgate (before the KU-Colorado football game Saturday). After the game, the doctor did tests and said it was torn cartilage. I couldn't believe it."

Since Monday, McGrath has been working on range of motion exercises and doing squats with light weights.

"I hope this is it," he said of injuries. The broken bone in McGrath's left wrist is totally healed, yet he still doesn't have full range of motion following offseason surgery. "I can't remember the last time I practiced when I wasn't injured. I had a broken wrist last year and before that the worst case of blisters I've ever seen."

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