Derrick Rose went through a full practice with the Knicks on Sunday, and Jeff Hornacek said his starting point guard is “likely” to be back on the floor Monday night against the Lakers.
Rose has missed four consecutive games because of a sprained ankle. The Knicks (22-30) went 1-3 during his absence, with the win coming over the Nets, who have the worst record in the league.
“He looked pretty good in practice, so we’re hoping that he’ll play,” Hornacek said in a conference call. “We did a little halfcourt scrimmaging in practice, where you have to go side to side and slide his feet. He looked pretty good there and didn’t wince or make faces. I think he feels pretty comfortable with that. He actually did some other things after practice to get more conditioning and push himself harder.”
Not all of the injury news was good. Joakim Noah, the other big name brought in to help the Knicks this season, has been ruled out of the Lakers game because of a problem with his left hamstring. Noah, who injured it during Saturday night’s loss to the Cavaliers, will be back Wednesday at the earliest.
An injury to his other hamstring forced Noah to sit out a good portion of training camp and the preseason, contributing to his poor start. Lately, he appeared to be trending upward with averages of 4.7 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game in January.
“I think the one in training camp was worse than this one,” Hornacek said, “but hamstrings are always a little tricky. They feel better, but then you can take that hard one step and re-aggravate it.”
With Noah out, look for Willy Hernangomez and Kyle O’Quinn to see a bump in playing time. It’s also possible that Kristaps Porzingis will spend some time in the middle.
Hornacek said he likes the way Hernangomez has been playing with backup point guard Brandon Jennings, so he might start O’Quinn at center against the Lakers.
Notes & quotes: Lance Thomas has been suffering from headaches as the result of a facial injury when he was hit by Toronto’s Jonas Valanciunas last month. Thomas did some running Sunday but isn’t ready to come back. Said Hornacek: “They’ve got a little program they’re trying to get him on and build him up to what he can do to see if we can keep the headaches away.”