Walsh shooting for quick return following surgery

Donnie Walsh says he is “shooting” to return to the Knicks in two weeks following hip-replacement surgery that is scheduled for this week.

Walsh would not say which day he'll undergo surgery, but it will likely take place during the Knicks’ upcoming four-game West Coast road trip, which starts Tuesday in Denver.

Walsh underwent neck surgery to remove bone spurs in June, prior to the NBA Draft. He uses a wheelchair and walker to get around.

Walsh’s health troubles have led to speculation that he can’t handle the day-to-day operations of the Knicks. He disagrees with that premise.

“I’ve got a brain (and) I’ve got a telephone,” Walsh said on Sunday when asked about the perception that health issues will compromise his ability to run the team. “When I got operated on last summer, I got out of the hospital and I was in the draft the next day.”

Walsh said that the surgery would keep him out of the office for the longest stretch of his career. He reiterated that he would be watching the team’s games on television and would remain in contact with team officials during his rehabilitation.

“I’m sure I’ll keep up with it,” he said.

Senior VP Glen Grunwald and director of personnel John Gabriel will reportedly take over the day-to-day operations during Walsh’s absence.

Walsh also refused comment when asked about Isiah Thomas’ recently stated desires to take over for Walsh when the 69-year-old executive retires.

TIMOFEY’S BACK: Looking for more length in the starting lineup, Mike D’Antoni re-inserted Russian Rookie Timofey Mozgov into the starting lineup. D’Antoni had inserted Wilson Chandler into the starting five the previous two games to free up space in the lane for Amare Stoudemire.

NO TURIAF: D’Antoni said he hoped to have Ronny Turiaf (sprained knee) back for Tuesday’s road game against Denver. Turiaf was diagnosed with the injury following the Knicks’ 107-80 loss to the Bucks last Tuesday. He missed more than 40 games last season with a left knee