Strickland tweets he's been cleared to play

North Carolina senior guard Dexter Strickland has taken another step in his recovery from knee surgery, according to his Twitter account on Monday afternoon.

Strickland was last season's starting shooting guard, backup point guard and best perimeter defender until he tore his right ACL at Virginia Tech in January, and underwent reconstructive surgery. He was averaging 7.5 points and 1.3 steals until he was sidelined.

His health this season will be key to the Tar Heels, who lost starting point guard Kendall Marshall (as well as three other starters) to the NBA draft. Strickland could still play both guard positions, but said in June that he expects to play point guard "way more" than he did last season. He will likely be competing with freshman Marcus Paige for the starting ballhandling slot.

Follow Robbi Pickeral on Twitter at @bylinerp.