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Turiaf back, Billups deals with orthotics issue

Ronny Turiaf will return to the Knicks lineup on Sunday evening against Cleveland after missing the past three games with a strained left ankle.

Turiaf participated in team scrimmages on Saturday and afterward Mike D’Antoni confirmed that he’d be back in the lineup.

Shelden Williams had started the past two games for the Knicks in place of Turiaf.

Williams played well against Orlando’s Dwight Howard last Monday. It will be interesting to see how D’Antoni uses Williams with Turiaf back. He’s praised the former Duke standout’s ability to provide resistance in the paint, something the undersized Knicks have sorely lacked this season.

BILLUPS FOOT ISSUES: Chauncey Billups removed himself from the Knicks’ scrimmage on Saturday due to what D’Antoni believed was an orthotics issue.

Billups sat on the sideline for the final 15 minutes of the scrimmage as trainers surrounded him. They appeared to be looking at the orthotic inserts in his shoe. Billups walked gingerly off the court, shoeless, after practice.

“Maybe his orthotics or the tape job wasn’t good I don’t know. But he didn’t say anything to me,” D’Antoni said.

Billups missed six games in March due to a deep left thigh bruise. D’Antoni said he did not aggravate that injury on Saturday.

SURGERY FOR RAUTINS: Andy Rautins had surgery on his left knee earlier this week and will be off of his feet for the foreseeable future. A team spokesman said that the goal for Rautins to be healthy for the summer. The spokesman said the surgery was for wear and tear issues on his knee.

Rautins, the Knicks’ 38thpick in the 2010, has appeared in just nine games this season. Rautins made $600,000 this season and has an non-guaranteed contract for 2011-2012.