Rasheed Wallace on being sidelined: 'It's killing me'

Rasheed Wallace, center, reacts after being ejected for

Rasheed Wallace, center, reacts after being ejected for garnering two technical fouls. (Dec. 2, 2012) (Credit: Jason DeCrow)

WASHINGTON -- Not being able to play seems to be hurting Rasheed Wallace more than the stress reaction in his left foot.

He doesn't like talking about the injury that's sidelined him for 25 games. But Wallace opened up Wednesday about how much he hates not playing -- something Knicks coach Mike Woodson said could change after the All-Star break.

"Sometimes just sitting on the sideline or sitting in the back watching those guys, it's killing me," Wallace said. "It's killing me because I feel like at certain points of the game, 'OK, I could have gotten that rebound,' or 'I would have been able to trap here or do something there.' It's a whole lot of what-ifs and I couldas, shouldas, wouldas. The anxiety kills me because I definitely want to be out there with my soldiers.

"It's like, 'OK, you're preparing for war, I'm up here in practice, going through practice and game film and all of that. I'm preparing myself, but guys, I can't get on the airplane and go to war with you.' It kills me. But there's nothing I can do. I just got to let this foot do what it does."

Wallace hasn't played or run since Dec. 13. Woodson said Wallace is "scheduled to start practicing" the first practice after the All-Star Game on Feb. 17. But Woodson has indicated that Wallace could practice or start running more than once the past few weeks and neither has happened.

There have been reports the Knicks are considering signing a big man because of Wallace's uncertain status. Woodson has dismissed that and Wallace has said he will return this season.

"You all love to talk about my foot, huh?" Wallace said. "It's the same. We'll see how it goes. My foot's feeling better. Like I always told you all, it's not up to me. It's up to the Doc for the most part."

Woodson, an assistant on Detroit's 2004 championship team that featured Wallace, talked him out of a two-year retirement. He knows how valuable Wallace is and has said the most important thing is getting him healthy for the postseason.

"I have to say that to myself a lot -- to be patient," Wallace said.

 

Demanding more Iman 'D'

Woodson said Iman Shumpert isn't defending like he was before tearing his left ACL but believes he will eventually. "He's not reckless abandon like I want him to be, like he was last year," Woodson said. "A lot of that is going to come once he feels the confidence in moving laterally and knowing he can bump and gamble . . . He's got to be that guy that we can trust to lock in and try to get some stops for us."

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