GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Jose Calderon may want to get back on the basketball court, but it appears as if the doctors aren't going to let him do so for at least another two weeks.
Calderon, who injured his left Achilles last Wednesday, again wore a walking boot at practice Monday. An MRI revealed he has a strained Achilles. Doctors are not scheduled to re-examine Calderon for another two weeks, a team spokesman said.
The Knicks (12-46) have won two straight games without their starting point guard, beating a Detroit team that is struggling to integrate new players and a Toronto squad that is on a five-game skid. That means the Knicks can tie their longest winning streak of the season Tuesday night by beating Sacramento at Madison Square Garden. The only other time the Knicks have won three in a row this season was Jan. 19-23, when they beat New Orleans, Philadelphia and Orlando.
After the Knicks practiced Monday, Calderon, 33, said he still plans on coming back and playing as soon as he can.
Acquired in June in an eight-player trade that sent Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton to Dallas, Calderon is averaging 9.1 points and 4.7 assists and has been mostly disappointing. He was mentioned almost daily in trade rumors leading up to the deadline, and it's fair to question whether he will be a part of next season's rebuild.
"I want to be here," Calderon said. "I want to be a part of this. But at the end of the day, there's nothing you can do about the stuff you cannot control . . . I want to be a part of this and I think they want me to be a part of this, but you never know."
For the Knicks, the remainder of the season apparently will be about auditioning for the future as they look to completely rebuild through the draft and free agency.
Coach Derek Fisher acknowledged that some players out there might not find the Knicks an ideal fit because of their current struggles.
"I think it is a factor, not really a concern, per se," he said.
"Any time you're in free agency, whether for the team or for the player, based on your stage and where you are in your career or your arc, you're going to make decisions accordingly.
"Some players, based on where they are in their careers, this might not be the place they want to be. But there will be a ton of really, really good players that based on where they are in their careers, they would be interested in something that is being built from the ground up with some really successful people involved that have been able to build success in the past."
According to Fisher, Carmelo Anthony is the only player pretty much guaranteed of being part of the rebuild. Anthony currently is on crutches after season-ending surgery on his left knee Feb. 19. The Knicks' coaches expect that he will begin attending practices once he is able to move around.
Said Fisher, "We need to have him around just to continue to establish the kind of leadership that he'll need to continue to step into."
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