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McDyess’ Repaired Knee Improves

December 6, 2001

DENVER (AP) _ Denver Nuggets all-star forward Antonio McDyess is showing improvement in his surgically repaired left knee.

McDyess, who jogged and shot a few balls during pregame warmups before Denver’s 95-80 loss Wednesday night in Boston, said his knee did not give him trouble.

``It felt good,″ he said. ``There was no pain. I was surprised. For my first time running, I at least took a little baby jog. It didn’t hurt at all.″

It remains uncertain when he can return to the court, but McDyess said the team’s recent performance highlighted his role.

``This team needs me,″ he said. ``Other times, I’ve said I don’t make a difference. But sitting there, looking at it, it’s a big difference. I just didn’t know how important I was to this team.″

The power forward, who averaged team highs of 20.1 points and 8.8 rebounds last season, had surgery Oct. 12 to repair a tendon in his left knee and minor arthroscopic work on his right knee. He was projected to be out until as late as February.

His loss has hurt the Nuggets, who have dropped six of their past seven games.

``I think it’s our defense,″ said coach Dan Issel. ``We don’t have enough firepower to outscore teams, and our defense has fallen off.″

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