Jeremy Lin all but ruled himself out of playing against the Miami Heat tomorrow, still hoping he can return if the New York Knicks extend their NBA first-round playoffs series.
Lin said Game 4 “doesn’t look great,” but that he does not know how he will feel if the Knicks are still playing next week.
Lin had surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee on April 2. The Knicks said at the time he was expected to miss six weeks. The point guard said he was ahead of schedule, but not two weeks ahead.
He played full-court, three-on-three during practice on Wednesday in his fullest workout yet, then stayed off the court for treatment on Thursday as planned. He said his conditioning was surprisingly good, but he still had not tested how the knee would respond to various movements and did not think he would be able to by tomorrow.
“I don’t think the timing — I’ll probably get one more day of contact maybe in between now and the next game, and I haven’t been able to really load it or jump or explode or drive by somebody the way I want to,” Lin said. “So it’s going to be longer than that.”
He said the pain level on Thursday “wasn’t the worst, it wasn’t the best,” but felt he was going in the right direction.
The Knicks are also missing -injured forward Amare Stoudemire and guard Iman Shumpert, and Lin said it was difficult knowing his mind wants to help, but his body might not let him. Playing against the Heat’s defense if he was well below full strength might be pointless; after all, they forced him into one-for-11 shooting and eight turnovers in a Feb. 23 game at Miami.
Lin did not want to speculate on his chances for another game in Miami. Game 5 would be on Wednesday.
“I don’t really want to say I am or am not, I just want to take it day by day,” he said. “Game 4 doesn’t look great. I mean, Game 5, I have no idea.”