Travis King pulled up his George Washington practice shorts, revealing his powerful legs. The 6-foot-2 sophomore guard out of New Haven, Conn., wanted to show how strong his right quadriceps had become. After months of arduous rehabilitation, King’s right leg nearly matched his left leg and his year-long rehabilitation from a fractured patella was almost complete.
“The knee is feeling pretty good,” King said. “It’s about 85 to 90 percent. I’m getting my speed back. It’s definitely feeling good. I’m just happy to be back playing this year.”
King missed the entire 2007-08 season after having surgery to repair his fractured knee cap and spending 2½ months in a cast. When the cast came off, his right leg had atrophied to about half its normal size. Since he has been out of the cast, King has spent countless hours trying to build strength back in his leg.
For the longest time, he walked with a limp. When he started jogging again, he jogged with a limp. Now he doesn’t limp any more.
“When I first came back, I was kind of nervous to do certain things, but now [the knee is] feeling pretty good,” King said. “I’m even dunking now.
“Before the injury, I was definitely quicker. My cuts were more sharp. I was able to do certain things. When I first came back, I couldn’t go left at all because it was hard for me to push off [with his right leg]. Now I can pretty much do everything I could before, but my speed is not where it should be. It’s definitely getting there.”
Within another month or so, King hopes to be close to 100 percent. He said he’ll know he’s completely back when he can accelerate, play defense the way he once did and push the ball. King has appeared in every game this season, averaging 18.8 minutes a game.
King reached a milestone last weekend when he appeared in the starting lineup for the first time since Feb. 24, 2007, sharing the backcourt with freshman Tony Taylor.
“Tony, he’s a good guy to play with,” King said. “He’s a smart player. . . . We know how each other plays. We’re going to be together for the next three years. This year we’re going to look forward to really getting used to playing with each other, getting a chemistry going.”
King expects to start again on Saturday when GW plays Harvard at Smith Center. But if he doesn’t, it won’t really bother him.
“I try not to focus on starting,” he said. “I just want to be the player I can be right now and just do everything I can to help my team out.”
December 12, 2008; 7:00 AM ET
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