MIAMI – New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin watched as some of his teammates took part in a shooting contest after Sunday's practice. He had two ice packs on his knees and a smile on his face – which, by some measure, could be considered progress.
Nearly a month after having surgery on his left knee, Lin is back on the court. The big question now: When will he return to a game?
Lin felt good after participating in a one-on-one drill Saturday, but his knee was sore after a non-contact workout Sunday. He's ruled out playing in Games 2 and 3 in the Knicks' first-round series against the Miami Heat and is skeptical about Game 4.
Lin characterized his timeline for returning as "somewhere down the road" in the Miami series.
"I don't really want to make a promise because I just don't know how [the knee is] going to feel," Lin said. "If I felt good today that would be more of a possibility. But I didn't feel that great today."
[Related: Iman Shumpert's season ends with knee injury]
The Knicks could use Lin. They lost rookie guard Iman Shumpert for the remainder of the series after he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in Game 1. Center Tyson Chandler didn't attend practice Sunday because he's suffering from flu-like symptoms, but is expected to play in Game 2. Guard Baron Davis has a sore lower back but plans on playing in Monday's Game 2. Forward Jared Jeffries was limited in Game 1 because of a sore right knee.
"The thing about this team is we've shown a lot of resiliency throughout the season with guys coming back earlier and making a playoff push," Davis said. "Guys on this team have come into this postseason banged up. There is nothing you can do at this point but give it your best effort."
Lin hasn't played since March 24. During his seven-week run as the Knicks' starting point guard, he captured the sporting world's imagination, drawing praise from President Obama and watching his jersey become one of the hottest-selling in the NBA.
The Heat, however, cooled off "Linsanity" on Feb. 23, when Lin missed 10 of 11 shots and committed eight turnovers in a 102-88 loss in Miami. Even if Lin returns during this series, he likely won't be in game shape and will need to adjust to coming off the bench.
"When I come back I want to bring energy and be aggressive," Lin said. "I have fresh legs."
Carmelo Anthony preached caution for those wanting Lin to return soon.
"I've seen situations like that before and we don't want him to rush it," Anthony said.
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