Since he was injured in Game 1 of the 2012 Playoffs against the Miami Heat, New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert has been targeting a December or January return.
Over the course of the past few months there have been several scenarios presented for the second-year guard’s return, but you now rule out a quick return as it appears that Shumpert will definitely not return before the calendar turns the page to 2013.
“January, February is what we’re aiming for,” Shumpert told the New York Post’s Marc Berman. “I’m just trying to get healthy. When I get healthy, I’ll return to the court. I’m not going to come back and not be able to do the things I did last year and a little more. I want to come back and add something.’’
You know Shumpert wants to be out there with his teammates badly, but it is smart on not only his behalf, but the Knicks’ organization as well not to rush him.
That not only has to do with the 3-0 start this team has got off but they have got off to a great start defensively as well, Shumpert’s specialty.
This team is also a deeper one than we may have ever seen, so they can get by without their young guard for a month or two of the season.
It’s also smart to not rush him because he is the only young player on the roster. At 22, Shumpert represents the only player on the roster under the age of 27. He will be a part of their future so it makes little sense to jeopardize that future.
When he returns, Shumpert should return as the Knicks starting shooting guard, though they are doing well at that position right now. In their new small lineup, Jason Kidd has moved to shooting guard and Ronnie Brewer to small forward. However when Amar’e Stoudemire returns in mid-December, Kidd will likely move to the bench.
Before you know it, it will be mid-January and Shump will be back on the floor.
That will be a welcome sight, but one that Knicks’ fans can wait for.
Follow Matt Shetler on Twitter for news, reaction and analysis from around the NBA.