Pitt senior forward Robinson fighting through knee pain
Pitt forward Nasir Robinson said the pain is so severe in his twice-repaired right knee that he would have considered taking a redshirt if this wasn't his senior season.
"Most definitely, I would have thought about it," he said. "I'm not 100 percent. I'm not making any excuses. It's just something I have been battling through all season."
Robinson is expected to make his 51st consecutive start — 85th overall — Wednesday against St. John's in his final regular-season game at Petersen Events Center. Doctors have suggested that he give the knee a rest, but Robinson has refused.
"I felt my body could fight through the pain," he said.
Robinson, who leads the team in rebounds with 6.8 per game, has fluid drained from his knee at regular intervals.
"Once I get rolling and my knee warmed up and my blood running, I should be good," he said. "It's stiff (before it's drained). Sometimes, it's hard for me to bend it like I want to bend it. When I get it drained, it's fluid."
Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said trainer Tony Salesi has been amazed at the amount of drainage.
"Last week, there was a day where he was supposed to get it drained and it didn't need any," Dixon said. "The next day he needed a huge amount of drainage."
The past two years have been difficult for Robinson, who missed the first three games of last season after surgery on the meniscus in his knee. Then, in Pitt's NCAA Tournament loss to Butler, he committed a foul 90 feet from the basket that led to the winning free throw with 0.8 seconds left in the game.
Before this season the knee needed more surgery, but he returned in time to start the season.
Pitt (15-14, 4-12) has lost 13 of its past 17 games and is suffering through its worst season in more than a decade.
"It's real tough," he said, "but I'm not giving up and my teammates aren't giving up."