The Knicks are going to celebrate their first extended break in a long, long time by holding a full practice on Sunday afternoon. Unless I missed something, it's been almost a month since they last did that (December 4th). It'll be a momentous practice, too: Amar'e Stoudemire should be ready to join in all the practice activities (trust fall, Red Rover, Running Bases) and Iman Shumpert, we learned last night, will participate on a limited basis as well:
Iman Shumpert said he will join the Knicks for Sunday’s practice on a limited basis when the club returns from its West Coast trip, but is not ready to be cleared for contact — the final step to his long-awaited return.Shumpert declined to pick a target date because he said it hinges on how his knee responds to his first contact scrimmage.
Shumpert also made it clear that he's not rushing any part of the process due to Raymond Felton's injury: "My knee is my knee." (This is where I wish the Knicks had Kostas Papanikolaou around to say "My knee is not my knee.")
This is good. Knee rehab isn't necessarily a linear process-- if there's pain or swelling at any stage, Shump could backslide to a previous stage-- but this seems like the penultimate stair before he ascends to game-readiness. After a comfortable couple of non-contact days with the team, Shump can join in contact drills and scrimmages. After a comfortable couple of scrimmage days, Shump can play basketball for the Knicks. I can't wait until Iman Shumpert can play basketball for the Knicks. Don't rush. Definitely don't rush. I can't wait, though.