The word all summer has been that the newly acquired Kelenna Azubuike would be ready to rumble come training camp, his torn patellar tendon fully recovered. As Howard Beck of the Times tells it, the Knicks aren't so sure anymore:
"We’re not sure," said the team president Donnie Walsh, who described a torn patellar tendon as "one of the worst injuries in the league."
Azubuike spent most of the summer rehabilitating with a private trainer. He just began working with the Knicks’ staff this week, so team officials do not yet have a firm assessment. Azubuike is not yet running or jumping, which suggests that he is a long way from playing high-level basketball.
"I think it’s 50-50 whether he’ll be ready for training camp right now," D’Antoni said. "He thinks he will be."
As Beck notes, Azubuike would be the front-runner for the starting two-spot if healthy. The good news is that the Knicks are deep enough now to permit Kelenna as much time as he needs to reach 100%. Wilson Chandler and Bill Walker are both capable starting shooting guards, and the recently added Roger Mason should be in the running as well. We want as much Azubuike as possible, but there's no need to rush a man.
(Tip of the hat to Big C).