New York Knicks News: Iman Shumpert Walking Without Limp or Brace
New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert spoke at Allan Houston's Five Borough Basketball Tour over the weekend and walked with no knee brace or noticeable limp, according to Nate Taylor of The New York Times. This is another significant step in Shumpert's recovery from the torn anterior cruciate ligament and torn knee meniscus he suffered during last year's playoffs.
At the time, Shumpert was expected to be out six to eight months following surgery on his left knee, and it appears he is still on track to do just that. Last week Shumpert said he planned to be back by December, which would be around eight months since his injury.
Shumpert was not made available to the media during Houston's event, but he did tell the crowd that his knee felt good. The guard was in Brooklyn to speak to children about his relationship with his father as part of Houston's Father Knows Best program.
Houston, for his part, has been impressed with the young guard's rehab process so far.
"I think he's pleased with his approach," Houston told Taylor. "I like the fact that Shumpert expects great things from himself and he's not afraid to expect those things. He's vocal about it, and what he does is he balances it out with his effort and commitment."
At the event, Shumpert helped some children perform basketball drills and even showed a video of himself dunking (a ball, not the iPhone 5) at New York's training facility.
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The Knicks will need Shumpert back as quickly as possible, as he is one of the team's best defenders. Last season, he averaged 1.7 steals per game.
December in particular is a difficult month for the squad. New York plays two games against the Los Angeles Lakers, two more against the Chicago Bulls, and one each against the Brooklyn Nets and Miami Heat, all playoff/championship contenders for the 2013 season. The Knicks also face several top 10 offenses from a year ago, including the Denver Nuggets and two games against the Phoenix Suns.
However, Shumpert cannot be rushed back too soon from his injury.
The Knicks may be desperate to win this season, especially with the neighboring Nets starting to garner more media attention. This, in turn, could tempt them to rush the guard back before he is fully ready.
But, the coaches and management need to think about Shumpert and the team's long-term future as well. Shumpert is one of the Knicks' rising stars and will likely be on the squad long after Anthony and Stoudemire have moved on.
It will be difficult for the Knicks to compete for a championship this season with all of the super teams forming around the league. Thus, New York is better off being as careful as possible with Shumpert this year. That way, he can help the Knicks down the line when they have enough pieces to compete with the likes of the Heat and the Bulls in the playoffs.
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