Back in the summer of 2010, when these Knicks were still new and unfamiliar and I was still in diapers, we were pretty stoked, amped, pumped and jazzed for Kelenna Azubuike. The fifth-year guard was an underrated offseason acquisition and, a lot of us thought, a shoo-in for the starting shooting guard spot in Mike D'Antoni's rotation. That, however, was before we knew the extent of Azubuike's rehab for a surgically repaired patella (and also before the arrival of the prophet Landry Fields). Kelenna's recovery has been slow going, but the word from himself and Coach D'Apostrophe (as imparted upon the prophet Alan Hahn) is that a return may finally be on the horizon:
It's been well over a year since he's played in an NBA game, so no one expects Azubuike to step in and make a major difference. But for someone who has spent a year rehabilitating a very troublesome injury -- ruptured patella tendon -- he is finally, at least, making notable progress.
He feels if he got into a game, he can do "enough to keep up."
"I've been keeping up pretty good in practice and playing as hard as I can and everything," he said. "I'm pretty confident in the knee. I'm axious to get out there."
Read on for some suggestion from the coach that, if the time is right, Kelenna might have a chance to work his way into the rotation soon after the All-Star break. He'd likely have to start at garbage minutes, though we know full well that if Azubuike were to really shine in limited minutes, there's plenty of precedent for D'Antoni to fast track him into the regular rotation. Hahn also alludes to the possible trade of a certain prophetic rookie opening up a bunch of minutes for Azubuike. It's a harrowing fate to consider (and not because of Kelenna. I love Kelenna.), but a decent point nonetheless. Now that I've terrified myself, share your thoughts on the possible long-awaited Dawn of Azubuike (which sounds like a milestone of ancient history or a Leon Uris novel or something) while I go knock on every wooden surface in my house.