Jeremy Lin wasn't willing to risk a knee setback

Updated: 2012-05-11 07:49

(China Daily)

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Jeremy Lin knows he would have been rusty and probably not in great shape if he tried to play for the New York Knicks in the playoff series against the Miami Heat.

While he could handle those things, what he couldn't handle was the unknown - that being how much his surgically repaired left knee could take if he tried to play too soon.

So with the Knicks having lost guards Baron Davis and Iman Shumpert to serious knee injuries already in this series - there's little chance Davis will play at all next season, and Shumpert's availability for the start of next season would be considered highly doubtful at best - Lin (pictured) erred on the side of caution by not rushing a comeback against the Heat, a move that neither risks his knee or his earning potential this summer as a restricted free agent.

"I'm mostly worried about just not having to suffer a real setback, which would be a new knee injury," Lin said on Wednesday morning in Miami, where the Knicks were preparing for a win-or-else Game 5 of their Eastern Conference first-round series against the Heat.

Jeremy Lin wasn't willing to risk a knee setback
New York lost 106-94, ending its season.

The Knicks ended all questions about Lin's status on Tuesday, when interim coach Mike Woodson said the guard who exploded onto the NBA scene with a dazzling series of games in February would not play against the Heat, regardless of how long the series would last.

Lin had been trying to speed his recovery for a couple weeks, working out several times in Miami around Games 1 and 2, then trying to go through a full-speed workout earlier this week in New York. That one didn't go well, with Lin - who thought there was a chance he could play against Miami - saying afterward he felt pain and soreness in the knee.

"There was nothing to set it back," Lin said. "I think to get from 85 percent to 100 percent takes more time than I may have thought."

Lin said some veterans have told him to be smart and not return until the knee is right, and Heat guard Dwyane Wade said he can understand why the Knicks and Lin would want to protect the future.

"Obviously, every player's different," Wade said on Wednesday before the game. "But when I think a player like him has a bright future, even though he probably can get out there and play, he's not going to be as effective as he wants to be and he might do further damage. I thought that (Woodson) did a great job coming out and saying, 'Listen, he's not ready.' Us as players, we always feel we're ready".

Associated Press in Miami

(China Daily 05/11/2012 page24)