Tim Hardaway Jr. is getting nearer to returning to the energetic roster, however simply how shut is open to interpretation.
On Tuesday, the Knicks introduced that the crew’s $71 million capturing guard will probably be out not less than yet another week with a stress damage to his left leg whereas nonetheless refusing to present a timetable to when he might play once more.
All of the Knicks would say is that Hardaway Jr. will probably be re-evaluated in a single week, which means he’ll miss not less than three extra video games together with Thursday’s dwelling recreation towards the Celtics, who’ve a league-leading 26 wins together with an Oct. 24 dwelling victory towards the Knicks. Total, Hardaway Jr. has missed 9 video games.
“The medical workers has decided that, primarily based on his progress, he’ll advance his rehabilitation and court docket work,” the Knicks stated in a press release. “He will probably be re-evaluated subsequent week.”
Hardaway represents Steve Mills’ first vital transaction as Knicks president. The signing drew sharp criticism final July, but Hardaway performed properly in his second stint with the Knicks till he was recognized with a stress damage.
It’s a irritating time for each participant and crew as a result of the longer Hardaway stays sidelined — particularly with the Knicks about to enter a troublesome stretch of their season — the extra their possibilities of being a playoff crew diminish.
“I’m feeling a bit of higher,” Hardaway stated late Monday in Charlotte. “I’m pleased with it. I’m snug. It doesn’t really feel like its hurting or something proper now. I simply have to verify I’m doing what they’re telling me to do and simply chill out and never overdo issues.”
Hardaway has been out since Dec. three however during the last 16 days he has progressed to the place he can stroll and not using a boot and has participated in gentle capturing drills.
“I’m in a position to do it with the brace on, shoot right here and there,” he added. “I’m not in a wheelchair or something, guys. I can do stuff as lengthy it’s with the brace is on. I’m not going to leap. I’m not going to attempt to do something outrageous.
“I can do some type capturing. I can shoot off the improper leg or layups. Simply no full-speed stuff. Simply stationary stuff. I can perform a little bit right here and there.”
The 25-year-old was spectacular in his 21 video games earlier than the damage, averaging profession highs in factors (17.eight), minutes (34.1), rebounds (Four.2) and assists (three.three). The Knicks, who’re 16-14 general, have gone 5-Four with out Hardaway within the lineup.
Nonetheless, the crew’s schedule, which has been loaded with dwelling video games in October, November and December, is about to alter dramatically. Following Thursday’s recreation, the Knicks play eight of their subsequent 11 on the street, together with video games at Detroit, San Antonio, New Orleans, Washington and Minnesota.
The Knicks are 2-9 on the street. Solely Dallas (2-12) and Charlotte (2-11) have worse street information.
Additional complicating issues is the standing of Kristaps Porzingis, who has missed the final two video games with a sore left knee. Total, the Knicks are 1-5 with out Porzingis, who’s listed as day-to-day. If Porzingis does play Thursday there is no such thing as a assure he will probably be accessible Friday in Detroit. The Knicks have had 5 units of back-to-backs and Porzingis has missed the second recreation of the back-to-back thrice.
In his first two seasons in New York, Porzingis missed 26 video games and his sturdiness has turn into a difficulty.
NBA coaches and scouts query whether or not Porzingis, regardless of his apparent skills, could be sturdy sufficient to play in 75-plus video games a season.
“Along with his physique and the truth that he performs on the perimeter it makes you surprise,” says one league scout. “He’s a franchise participant … when he’s accessible to play.”