Knicks guard Iman Shumpert, who has been sidelined this season while recovering from a left ACL and meniscus tear, has been cleared to play and could return on Thursday, according to ESPN.com’s Jared Zwerling.
Head coach Mike Woodson said Shumpert will return to practice this week and will “probably” be available for the Knicks game against the Detroit Pistons on Thursday. Though he will play “limited minutes,” according to Woodson, the 22-year-old 2011 first-round draft pick out of Georgia Tech could provide a spark off the bench.
“He’s been cleared,” coach Mike Woodson said after Saturday’s practice at the team’s training facility. “He’ll practice on Monday and if we get the two practices in — for sure one in London and there’s no setback — he’ll be cleared probably to play in the Detroit game.”
Shumpert is returning from a left ACL and meniscus tear suffered last April in the playoffs. Initially, the Knicks were looking to have the sophomore practice with the Knicks’ D-League team, the Erie BayHawks, but Woodson said the schedule won’t permit that. Instead, Shumpert will practice with the Knicks and “have to learn on the fly,” as the coach said.
In his rookie season, Shumpert averaged 9.5 points and 1.7 steals in about 29 minutes per game, emerging as one of the league’s top perimeter defenders. “Physically, I feel great,” he told ESPN.com.