“He had an MRI and it’s just a strain on the tendon,” Lamont Halsey, Strickland’s stepfather, said Thursday morning. “We’ll let him sit a couple days. He’s feeling better. We’re just taking precautions. He should be alright, he should be ready to go go Saturday against Trenton Catholic.’
Added St. Patrick coach Kevin Boyle before the MRI results were known:
“He hurt his knee,” Boyle said. “It’s swollen. He’ll take several days off.”
It’s unclear exactly when Strickland injured the knee, but he played in Saturday’s rout of Lakewood in the Scholarship Fund for Inner-City Children Basketball Festival.
Without Strickland, the Celtics lost to Life Center Academy 59-57 on Tuesday night.
Life Center, which also played without Syracuse-bound star Dion Waiters, will face Dan Hurley’s St. Benedict’s team, ranked No. 3 nationally, on Thursday night at 6 p.m. in Newark .
In the St. Patrick-Life Center game, talented sophomore forward Michael Gilchrist led St. Patrick with 20 points, Kevin Boyle Jr. had 14 and George Mason-bound forward Paris Bennett added 11. Kyle Clarke scored 16 of his 18 points in the second and third quarters for Life Center.
“They were older and bigger than us,” Boyle said. “They played well. We didn’t have quite the consistency on offense.
“When you take away Dexter, we can go on scoring droughts now, too.”
Boyle said he expects to have Kyrie Irving back for the Jan. 22 game against Newark Tech. Irving, a junior who transferred from Montclair Kimberley Academy and has interest from a slew of major Division 1 programs, including Memphis, Rutgers and Seton Hall, must sit out 30 days and will be eligible Jan. 19, but the Celtics don’t play until Jan. 22.
“That will be real big,” Halsey said of Irving. “That’s going to be real big when they get him. He does so many things well. He can score, can make guys better, can defend. It just brings a whole other dimension.”
Over at St. Anthony, the transfer trio of Derrick Williams, Ashton Pankey and Devon Collier should be eligible to suit up for the team’s Jan. 19 game against Memphis-bound wing Xavier Henry and Putnam (Ok.) City High. That game, which also features Villanova-bound wing Dominic Cheek of St. Anthony, will be shown live on ESPNU.