LAS VEGAS - J.R. Smith's status for the preseason -- and perhaps even the start of the regular season -- is in jeopardy after he underwent two surgical procedures on his left knee Monday.
The NBA's reigning Sixth Man of the Year had surgery to repair the patella tendon and arthroscopic surgery to fix a torn meniscus, the Knicks announced.
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Smith's recovery time is expected to be 12 to 16 weeks, according to the team. That timetable seems certain to knock him out of action when they begin training camp in September.
The regular-season schedule hasn't been announced yet, but historically the NBA opener is on or around Nov. 1.
The Knicks last week announced the signing of Smith to a new four-year contract worth about $25 million, the maximum they were allowed to give him under the "Early Bird" exception.
"Bird rights" are salary-cap exceptions that help teams re-sign their own free agents.
J.R.'s brother Chris, who is a member of the Knicks' summer-league team, said last week he expected J.R. to travel to Las Vegas to watch him play. But that never happened. Instead, he was at the Hospital for Special Surgery undergoing surgery by Dr. Answorth Allen.
The Knicks described Smith's injuries Monday as "chronic and gradually worsened," which could explain his postseason struggles.
Smith provided instant offense off the bench during his best season as a pro, averaging 18.1 points and 5.3 rebounds, both of which were career highs, and 2.7 assists during the regular season.
But he failed to provide the same lift during the postseason. After getting ejected (and ultimately suspended for one game) for elbowing Boston's Jason Terry during Game 3 of the first-round series against Boston, Smith averaged 13.5 points and shot poorly in the Knicks' remaining eight postseason games.