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Minnesota’s Reggie Lynch to begin non-contact work

March 9, 2016: Minnesota Golden Gophers head coach Richard Pitino during the men's Big Ten Tournament basketball game between the Minnesota Golden Gophers and Illinois Fighting Illini at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)
Alan Look/Icon Sportswire

Minnesota Golden Gophers’ center Reggie Lynch will resume non-contact activity this week, according to head basketball coach Richard Pitino, as reported by Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports. Lynch underwent knee surgery in September that was expected to sideline him for a month.

This update notably puts him on or even slightly ahead of schedule in his recovery.

Lynch projects as the team’s starting center in 2016-2017 after sitting out last season after transferring from Illinois State. At Illinois State, he led the Missouri Valley Conference in blocked shots during both his freshman and sophomore seasons. In only two seasons, he moved up to No. 2 all-time on the school’s blocked shots list. As a sophomore at Illinois State, the big man averaged 9.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game.

It has been a tumultuous offseason for Lynch, however.

He was arrested over the summer on suspicions of criminal sexual conduct with a 19-year old woman in a campus apartment building back in May. He was suspended by the team for the incident. Even so, charges were never filed and he was reinstated in September shortly before undergoing the aforementioned knee surgery.

Lynch’s transfer to Minnesota is a return home for the product of Edina High School, located in the suburbs of Minneapolis.

The Golden Gophers are coming off an 8-23 season that landed them in 13th-place in the 14-team Big Ten Conference. Despite their poor play, they have landed two four-star recruits in guard Amir Coffey and forward Eric Curry. With those additions and a healthy Lynch serving as rim protection, Minnesota stands to improve from their disappointing campaign.

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