GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Eddy Curry pedaled away on a stationary bike yesterday, getting in a little cardiovascular work while the rest of the Knicks finished preparations to conclude their "Dream Week" with a visit from the Celtics tonight.
Curry, who returned Wednesday from a leave of absence that lasted a little more than a week, quickly trudged off the court - disappearing into the locker room by exiting through a back door - when media members were let in to witness the final few minutes of practice. Curry, battling pain in both knees, hasn't practiced since Jan. 9 in Houston, the day after he made his season debut against the Mavericks.
He logged just 2:38 in his only game of the season and began feeling soreness in his left knee, which has kept him sidelined. As recently as Jan. 16 in Washington - four days after his former driver, David Kuchinsky, filed a sexual harassment suit - Curry said he'd definitely be back by the All-Star break and possibly as soon as the end of January.
But Curry's former girlfriend, Nova Henry, and her 10-month-old daughter, Ava Goings, who later was revealed to be Curry's child, were murdered Jan. 24 while Curry's 3-year-old son, Noah, watched. A distraught Curry eventually went to Chicago and attended a private viewing of Henry and Goings last Saturday.
The latest difficult situation pushed Curry's possible return back indefinitely, and Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni didn't sound confident that Curry is going to be able to help the Knicks this season.
"That I don't know," he said. "Obviously, as it goes further on, it makes it tougher. You'll have to talk to him a little bit. I don't know where his pain level is or exactly what the doctors say. They keep telling me it's not long. I don't know what that means. Hopefully, it's not long, but again, I don't know."
Curry, who showed up for training camp overweight, still has to get into playing shape and shed some of the extra pounds.
The Knicks - who are owned by Cablevision, which also owns Newsday - probably wouldn't mind moving his hefty contract, which has two years and $21.7 million remaining after this season, to get some more cap relief for their 2010 shopping spree. However, they can't do it until Curry shows potential suitors what his true worth is, and his stock continues to plummet with every day that he sits out.
The undersized Knicks certainly could use Curry's 6-11 frame in the low post. But his teammates also want to make sure he's in the correct state of mind before he returns to the court, whenever that might be.
"He's doing all right for the stuff he's been going through," Al Harrington said. "He's a very strong individual. I don't know if I would be in here around the guys talking. Period. But he's a strong dude and we are just going to keep praying for him and just wishing him well."
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