Raymond Felton plans to return to Knicks next weekend

Denver's Corey Brewer tries to strip the ball

Denver's Corey Brewer tries to strip the ball from Raymond Felton in the first half. (Dec. 9, 2012) (Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan)

LONDON - Raymond Felton is no longer wearing the contraption protecting his right hand and ran drills for the first time since fracturing his pinky on Christmas Day.

Felton said he will have an X-ray on his hand when the Knicks return home, and is targeting a return next Saturday in Philadelphia. Felton, who was expected to be out 4-6 weeks, wants to play before then, but the Knicks' doctors are playing it safe.

"They won't let me play," Felton said before the Knicks practiced. "They're not even going to let me play when we first get back. So I'm looking at maybe Philly in Philly."

The Knicks have missed Felton in the pick-and-roll and creating shots for his teammates and himself.

This was the first time he dribbled and shot since injuring himself. He said he didn't feel any pain. If he's cleared for contact, the tough-minded Felton hopes to be back next Thursday against the Celtics.

"I'm trying to get them to let me play Boston," Felton said. "We'll see what happens."

Chandler sickTyson Chandler's return to London didn't get off to a great start. A virus kept him out of practice Wednesday. But Chandler is expected to face the Pistons on Thursday in the O2 Arena, where he helped the U.S. win the gold medal over the summer.

Shumpert starting

Barring a setback, it appears that Iman Shumpert, back from left knee surgery, will start Thursday in his season debut.

"We talked about that a little bit in film session," Woodson said. "I'll talk to the doctors more in detail based on practice today. He's already loose. Why let him go over there and stiffen up and then try and restart him? It might be better to start him. We'll see."

Sheed still sidelined

Rasheed Wallace has missed five weeks with a stress reaction in his left foot and it doesn't sound as if he'll be back soon. He hasn't started running yet.

"You've got to be able to run to play basketball," Woodson said.

Asked about his health, Wallace said, "Talk to the docs and Mike about that, man. It's not on me. It's not my call."

Woodson said the Knicks, who also are without Marcus Camby, aren't planning to sign anyone.

"That has not even been in our thought process," Woodson said. "Right now we just got to manage the guys we do have and get them back healthy and continue to win."

More Amar'e

Woodson said Amar'e Stoudemire's minutes have been bumped to 30.

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