Iman Shumpert not returning to Knicks until knee heals

Iman Shumpert drives past Orlando Magic center Dwight

Iman Shumpert drives past Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard during the first half. (March 28, 2012) (Credit: AP)

Iman Shumpert hopes to be back in uniform and playing a game by January, but the injured Knicks guard said Wednesday that he had no intention of returning until his knee was 100 percent healthy and that he won't begin shooting again for at least two more weeks.

"I'm not a guy who wants to come back and have a nagging injury," Shumpert said in the gym at Highlands Middle School in White Plains, sitting in such a way that his ACL scar peeked out from the opening in his knee brace. "I just want to be back 100 percent, I don't care how long it takes. If they told me a year, I would wait a year. I just want to be healthy."

Shumpert, who was on hand to host a youth basketball camp, declined the kids' pleas to dunk or shoot, at one point stopping to indicate his knee and saying, "Give me four months and I swear I can dunk." The All-Rookie selection tore the anterior cruciate ligament and lateral meniscus of his left knee in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series against Miami in April.

Shumpert said he has targeted his return for January. "It could be sooner and it could be later . . . That's part of the reason that I don't know when I'm going to be back . . . Until I'm 100 percent, I won't come back."

Shumpert, who averaged 9.5 points and 1.7 steals in his rookie season, said his rehabilitation is going "great," and told the children he's been rehabbing with Baron Davis (knee).

"It's feeling a lot better," Shumpert said of his injury. "I'm actually doing step-ups now and leg presses. It's great. I'm able to finally start doing things in the weight room, doing a lot of things with just controlling my core, control the other muscles, you know, balance."

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