GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Joakim Noah said his sore left hamstring is feeling better. He isn’t ruling out making his Knicks’ debut in Saturday’s preseason game. But he didn’t practice Thursday.
“Still not where I want to be,” Noah said. “A little disappointed. I want to be out there but I have to be smart.”
The Knicks also were without Derrick Rose, who is in Los Angeles for his civil sexual assault trial. Jeff Hornacek said he didn’t know if Rose would be back for Saturday’s game at the Garden against the Nets. The Knicks’ next game is Monday against the Wizards.
Noah said he did some shooting, work in the weight room and he took part in a post-practice team yoga session. After signing a four-year, $72 million contract in the summer with the Knicks, Noah hates watching from the side.
“I’m thirsty,” Noah said. “I’m thirsty. I want to be out there with my teammates.
“I’m just taking it day by day right now. I’m trying to get back on the court. I have a little pull of my hamstring. So I just have to be smart. When the time comes that I can play, I’ll play”
Hornacek said Noah is day-to-day. Hamstrings are a tricky injury so the Knicks wouldn’t push it, especially in the preseason even if it’s important for Noah to be involved in practice to get used to playing with his new teammates.
All the Knicks want is that Noah, who has been injury plagued throughout his career, is healthy when the regular season begins Oct. 25 in Cleveland.
“We need him to be out there so if he has to be out two weeks, so be it,” Hornacek said. “So when he comes back he’s healthy and he can go hard. Jo’s not a guy that’s going to kind of go easy into practices. So we do have to be a little careful.”
The Knicks signed Noah to be their starting center and defensive anchor. His presence was missed in their 130-103 loss Tuesday to the Rockets when the Knicks’ defense was non-existent.
“I want to be out there,” Noah said. “We’re a work in progress. We got a lot of work to do. We got to get better defensively. We got to get better in every aspect of defense.”