Reigning Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith has had a lot of time on his hands as of late, recovering from his left patella tendon and lateral meniscus surgery which happened just days after signing a three-year deal to remain in the Big Apple.
The down time has given Smith plenty of time to do the things that we have come accustomed to seeing JR do, like shooting his mouth off and playing with his hair, but judging by reports about his surgically repaired knee, it unfortunately looks like Smith could have more free time than anyone hoped for.
Smith’s rehab process isn’t going particularly well as he is still experiencing swelling in his knee and his status for the Knicks season opener is in doubt.
Per Ian Begley of ESPN New York:
The initial recovery time for Smith’s surgery, which was performed by team orthopedist Dr. Answorth Allen, was approximately 12 to 16 weeks. That meant Smith would likely miss part of training camp and the beginning of the regular season.
The Knicks open the season Oct. 30 at home against Milwaukee. At this point, Smith isn’t sure if he’ll be ready to go by then.
“I want to get out there as soon as possible. I know they’re going to make sure I come back healthy, 100 percent so I don’t re-injure it or make it worse,” Smith said at a PGA Foundation golf clinic at Chelsea Piers for the New York/New Jersey Boys & Girls Club. Smith said there is still swelling in his knee.
That’s bad news for Knicks fans as it would be nice to see Smith on the court with his teammates at the beginning of the season, but it is also something that’s not totally unexpected.
It makes little sense to rush Smith back to the lineup if his knee isn’t ready. The Knicks are a very deep team on paper this season and should be able to get by without him for a couple of weeks.
That’s a much better scenario than rushing Smith back for the start of the season and him experiencing recurring knee issues and having to miss a bunch of time.
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