Raymond FeltonandJason Kiddare not 100 percent healthy, but both are anxious to play on the Knicks’ upcoming three-game road trip.
Felton, the team’s starting point guard, banged his left hand on Sebastian Telfair’s knee during Sunday’s win over the Phoenix Suns. An MRI revealed a contusion and a bone bruise. Kidd, the starting shooting guard, has missed four games with back spasms and is listed as probable for Wednesday’s game in Charlotte.
“I’m alright, sore but I’ll be alright,” Felton told reporters after practice Tuesday. “I’m playing. It’s going to be tough, but I’m going to play.”
He added: “It kind of hurts when a ball hits my hand from a pass but I can deal with that.”
Kidd practiced Tuesday and is listed as probable.
“It’s going to be based on how Kidd feels tomorrow after sleeping tonight when he wakes up,” head coach Mike Woodson said. “He’s probable. Put it that way. We’ll just have to play it by ear and see how he feels. It would be nice to have him back.”
The Knicks (12-4) are 7-0 at home but just 5-4 on the road. After Charlotte they face tough tests in Miami Thursday and Chicago Saturday and will need as many healthy bodies as possible.
They are already without guard Iman Shumpert (knee) and forward Amar’e Stoudemire (knee) for at least a few more weeks. Stoudemire could return by Christmas.
With a back-to-back coming up, Woodson added that they “can’t play [Kidd] a lot of minutes right now.”
Asked if he would be ready to start Wednesday, Kidd said: “I don’t know coach’s plans. Most likely not. I’ve been out for a week, so we’ll work back in with second unit. But you never know what coach Woody has planned.”
Felton is coming off a 23-point, 7-assist, 0-turnover performance in Sunday’s win and is anxious to play in front of his parents in Charlotte. He won the 2005 NCAA championship with North Carolina.
“My moms and dad are excited to see me,” he said. “Just to get an opportunity to see everybody all at once, it’s going to be good.”
Said Kidd: “Ray is playing at a high level and I don’t think the hand is going to be a problem. I look for him to continue to play at a high level and eat up a lot of the minutes.”
Kidd, 39, has served as a mentor to Felton and a coach on the floor, and Felton said he’s looking forward to having Kidd back.
“I got my mentor back,” Felton said. “Im happy to have him back, I’ve got my big brother back on the court with me.”
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.