The news keeps getting better for the New York Knicks as it surrounds injured guard Iman Shumpert as he continues to progress in his rehab from a torn left ACL.
Shumpert keeps progressing and has recently been dunking off of one leg as he builds strength in his calf and thigh. Shumpert told ESPN’s Jared Zwerling that his leg feels “stabilized,” which is good news for Knicks fans. He also told Zwerling that the best case scenario could be a December return, although he didn’t go as far as predict that would be the case.
“It’s nice to be back on my feet and start to gain that strength back. … There’s been a big smile on my face,” Shumpert told ESPN New York. “Every week (rehab intensifies) a little bit more and a little bit more, so I’m just being patient. I’m not trying to come back early. I’m just trying to come back when I can help.”
Shumpert led all NBA rookies with 1.7 steals per game last year and averaged 9.5 points a season ago and has been seen lately walking without a limp.
The original timetable from the Knicks stated that Shumpert would be out 6-8 months. Shumpert said then, he’d return to the court as early as December, which would be eight months from the date of his injury.
But given the serious nature of the injury and the fact that Shumpert would need time to get himself back into NBA shape, there’s no way to predict when he will be ready. That’s why the stated goal for his return has been anywhere between December and February.
“I want to come back when I can add something to the team,” Shumpert said. “I don’t want to come back for the claps and (recognition). I want to come back fully healthy and I want to come back and do more than I did last season.”
Given the fact that the Knicks have depth in the backcourt by adding Ronnie Brewer, Jason Kidd, Pablo Prigioni and Raymond Felton to go along with J.R. Smith, there may not be an immediate need to rush Shump back if the Knicks get off to a good start. But forget about that, it makes very little sense to rush a second-year guard back with the upside Shumpert has.
It’s great news to hear that Shumpert is upbeat about his rehab and that things are going well and while December’s best case scenario sounds like great news right now, the risk outweighs the potential reward here and I wouldn’t expect the Knicks to do anything that jeopardizes Shumpert’s future.
While all news regarding Shump’s return is good news, there’s simply no need to rush him back. This team has enough talent to do well in the short-term without him. All eyes should be on the bigger picture.
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