Branden Dawson was crumpled on the ground, clutching his surgically repaired left knee.
He bounced back to play again and Derrick Nix scored 17 points to help No. 22 Michigan State pull away for a 66-56 victory over Nebraska on Sunday night.
The Spartans, and Dawson in particular, held their breath early in the second half when the sophomore forward tumbled to the court in pain. He missed the Big Ten and NCAA tournament last season after tearing the ACL in his left knee.
''I was scared for a minute and said, `Not again,''' he recalled.
Nebraska's Ray Gallegos was called for a foul when he trailed Dawson on his layup attempt.
''He really didn't clip me,'' Dawson said. ''When I planted, the knee buckled.''
After Dawson was examined, he walked slowly off the court and later was able to jog back onto it.
''All of a sudden he came out running like Superman,'' Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said.