- (Photo: REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine)
Jeremy Lin, New York Knicks starting point guard, recently said he would not be ready to return from a basketball hiatus in the series against the Miami Heat.
After weeks of speculation regarding his return to the team, the 23-year-old point guard recently spoke about sitting out for the rest of the series even after veteran point guard Baron Davis' season-ending injury on Sunday.
Although Lin said he felt that he was 85 percent ready to get back on the court, the budding guard said he didn't feel it was enough to help his team climb out of their 3-1 deficit against Miami.
"There wasn't anything to set it back, but just to get from 85-percent to 100-percent would have taken more time than I had gotten," Lin said."You have to be able to trust the knee and now there's tightness and soreness."
Lin, who led the team to a surprising winning streak in February while breaking records during his first NBA start, has been absent from the court since March 25. The guard required surgery to repair a torn meniscus, that was supposed to leave him out of the game for six weeks.
However, Lin has been recently seen playing three-on-three in team practices, causing some to inquire about his return. Skip Bayless, ESPN analyst known for voicing his strong opinions on his show "First Take," recently questioned why Lin was taking so long to return.
"We praised Jeremy Lin when he deserved it. Now he's getting a pass," Bayless tweeted, which had been re-tweeted 368 times by press time. "Unless he had complications from surgery, he should be playing by now."
However, Lin said he spoke with every veteran on the team who said he should not rush his return. One night before the Knicks geared up to play their potential last playoff game this season, interim coach Mike Woodson spoke about Lin's situation in an ESPN report.
"He's out," Woodson said on Tuesday. "... He's just not ready."
With injuries to guards Davis and rookie Iman Shumpert, Woodson said he is focusing on giving minutes to 33-year-old Mike Bibby as a starter.
"Every time I step out on that floor, I think we can win a basketball game regardless of who's in uniform," Woodson said. "It's kind of been that way since I've taken over. We've been shorthanded pretty much all year. Guys have stepped up and did what they've had to do to help us."
Still, Woodson left room for Knicks fans to have hope, saying that Lin may still step up to the plate.
"I'm sure he'll step up to the plate and say, 'Hey, I'm ready when the time comes,'" Woodson said. "But right now, he's out."