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Andrea Bargnani unlikely to return this week

Knicks center Andrea Bargnani, right, fouls Boston Celtics

Knicks center Andrea Bargnani, right, fouls Boston Celtics center Jared Sullinger during the first quarter of a preseason game on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014, in Hartford, Conn. Credit: AP / Jessica Hill

The Knicks originally announced that Andrea Bargnani would miss the first three games of the season, but Derek Fisher said Sunday it will be more than that.

Fisher said it's unlikely that Bargnani (strained right hamstring) will make his season debut this week. Next week seems more realistic.

"Hopefully, it's soon,'' Fisher said. "That's the best answer. I think Andrea's progressing.''

Starting Tuesday, the Knicks play four games in five nights, so they won't have any practices after Monday. Next week, they play every other day, so there will be more time for Bargnani to practice. He hasn't played since the first preseason game.

"I don't think it's fair to put a player out there who hasn't really had an opportunity to practice and see how his body responds to the physical demands of playing the game,'' Fisher said. "Next week might be a better week to start to dial in when he might be back.''


Starting five unchanged

Fisher used the same starting five for the second straight game: Shane Larkin, Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony, Quincy Acy and Samuel Dalembert. Amar'e Stoudemire started at power forward in the first game of the season.

Early in training camp, Fisher said he hoped to have a set lineup. When Jose Calderon returns from a calf injury, he will replace Larkin, but changes to the lineup could continue until Fisher feels comfortable with a starting unit.

"I've always been on teams where it was pretty set, but over the years, the game has evolved and a number of teams are playing different guys that have different strengths and weaknesses,'' Fisher said. "We have to be open-minded about that.''



Stoudemire's wife, Alexis, ran the marathon for the first time. On Instagram, Stoudemire said: "Congrats on the finish!! Drink a bottle of @evianwater and a Red Wine Bath and you will be OK!!!''


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