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Tim Hardaway re-evaluated; no timetable for his return

New York Knicks forward Tim Hardaway Jr. reacts

New York Knicks forward Tim Hardaway Jr. reacts during an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Tim Hardaway Jr. was re-evaluated by the Knicks’ medical staff Tuesday, but the team still isn’t giving a timetable for his return from a stress injury in his lower left leg.

Hardaway has missed the past nine games and will be out a minimum of three more.

The Knicks announced that Hardaway is making progress, and that he will advance his rehab and work on the court. The team said he will be re-evaluated next week.

Hardaway already has begun doing some court work. He did some light shooting before the Knicks lost to the Hornets Monday in Charlotte. But Hardaway isn’t doing any running yet.

He was seen taking three-pointers with a hard brace on his lower leg. He wasn’t getting his normal lift, but he was getting slightly off the ground.

“I’m able to do it with the brace on, shoot here and there,” Hardaway said Monday. “I’m not going to jump. I’m not going to try to do anything outrageous. I can do some form shooting. I can shoot off the wrong leg and layups. Just no full-speed stuff. Just stationary stuff. I can do a little bit here and there.”

The Knicks are 5-4 without Hardaway, the Knicks’ second-leading scorer averaging 17.8 points per game.

“I’m feeling a little better,” Hardaway said. “Just continue to do the workouts, continue to do the exercises the medical staff is giving me. I’m happy with it. I’m comfortable. It doesn’t feel like it’s hurting or anything right now. I just have to make sure I’m doing what they’re telling me to do and just relax and not overdo things.”

The Knicks, who did not practice Tuesday, hope to have leading scorer Kristaps Porzingis back when they play their next game Thursday against the Celtics at Madison Square Garden.

Porzingis has missed the past two games with a sore left knee that he suffered in last Thursday’s win over the Nets. Porzingis said on Monday he’s feeling “much better.” But when he tested the knee before both games, he still felt “a pinch” so he was held out.

With the additional days to rest and get treatment, Porzingis could return against the Eastern Conference-leading Celtics. He’s missed six games already this season with ankle, elbow and knee issues.

Porzingis’ importance to the Knicks is proved by their record with and without him. They’re 15-9 in games he plays, and 1-5 when he doesn’t. They had one of their worst performances of the season Monday in Charlotte when they trailed by 27 points and lost by 19.

“It’s frustrating,” Porzingis said. “I want to be on the court as much as possible. A lot of times my head is hot and I want to go and play, even though I shouldn’t play. I’m happy to have people around me to kind of cool me down, make me think with my head a little bit more.

“I want to be on the court as long as possible, play as many games as possible. Sometimes you have to slow down a little bit to be able to play later more.”

New York Sports