GREENBURGH, N.Y. — The Knicks’ two most important offseason acquisitions didn’t practice Thursday and might not be able to play for the foreseeable future.
Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah are missing valuable time with their teammates and learning a new system. Noah is watching from the side as he rests his sore left hamstring and Rose is in Los Angeles for his civil sexual assault trial. At this point, it’s unclear when he will rejoin the Knicks.
“It’s always better when you have your whole team here,” Noah said on Thursday. “We understand Derrick’s situation. We support him 100 percent. There’s no question that you want everybody here getting better as a unit. I have my little knick-knack, and Derrick being gone, it’s tough. But it is what it is. It’s part of it. Nothing’s perfect.”
Noah, who signed a four-year, $72-million contract in July to be the Knicks’ starting center and defensive anchor, said he’s feeling better and hasn’t ruled out playing in Saturday night’s preseason game against the Nets at the Garden. But he’s still sore.
Noah, who lifted weights, shot and took part in a post-practice team yoga session, couldn’t play in Tuesday night’s 27-point loss at Houston. His defensive presence was missed.
“I’m thirsty,” he said. “I’m thirsty. I want to be out there with my teammates.”
Rose, acquired from the Bulls in June, was in court Thursday. He’s being sued for $21.5 million by a 30-year-old woman who says he and two of his friends raped her in August 2013 while she was intoxicated. Rose and the two friends say the sex was consensual.
Jeff Hornacek said he isn’t sure if Rose will be back in time for Saturday night’s game. The Knicks also play Monday night. Hornacek said Knicks president Phil Jackson and general manager Steve Mills have spoken to Rose’s lawyers to get a general idea of how long Rose will be gone.
“He’ll let us know,” Hornacek said. “He’s got to take care of that business first and then he’ll be back.”
If Rose doesn’t return in time for Saturday night’s game, Brandon Jennings likely will start.
Hornacek doesn’t seem concerned about Rose missing much and hopes he and Noah will acclimate themselves quickly.
“There’s some things that we’ll have to go over with him when he gets back,” Hornacek said. “For the most part, a lot of this is review for the guys. A couple new things here and there . . . It shouldn’t be difficult.
“You hope that because they’re veteran guys, it doesn’t take as long as a bunch of young guys would. It’s still going to take some time. We’re hoping it’s a quicker learning curve because they’ve been around the league.”
Hornacek said Noah is day-to-day. Hamstrings are tricky injuries, so the Knicks won’t push it. All they care about is that Noah, who has been plagued by injuries throughout his career and played in only 29 games last season, is healthy for the regular-season opener in Cleveland on Oct. 25.
“We need him to be out there,” Hornacek said. “So if he has to be out two weeks, so be it.”
“I want to be out there,” Noah said, “but I have to be smart.”