Raymond Felton hopes to be back on the court for the Knicks on Monday against the Magic.
Felton has been out of the lineup since Dec. 11 due to a left hamstring injury. The original timetable, given on Dec. 12, called for Felton to miss 2-3 weeks. So a Monday return would put the point guard ahead of schedule.
Felton, 29, will go through a "hard workout" Friday and Sunday. If his hamstring can withstand those workouts without incident, Felton plans to be back for the Knicks' game against Orlando.
"We're going to see what happens [after the workouts] and see how I feel. Make sure the doctors look at me and everything and make sure nothing is sore," Felton told ESPNNewYork.com at his second annual holiday party, where he provided gifts and a basketball clinic to 100 local children at Basketball City. "So we'll see what happens but I'm shooting for Monday."
The Knicks have gone 3-2 in Felton's absence. Pablo Prigioni originally started in place of Felton. He went down with a broken big toe on Monday and is expected to miss at least two weeks.
New York started Beno Udrih at point guard in Wednesday's win over Milwaukee. Toure' Murry served as a backup but suffered an ankle injury in the second half. Guard Iman Shumpert also handled the ball for New York.
With Felton back, Udrih will likely return to his role as a backup, and Murry, who is expected to play Saturday against Memphis, will be the Knicks' third point guard.
Felton originally suffered the hamstring injury in the preseason. It had been nagging him for most of the season, which is the prime reason why his numbers are down from last year.
Felton's averaging 10.3 points and 5.2 assists while shooting 39 percent from the field this year. Last season, he scored 13.9 points per game on 43 percent shooting. He's also shooting just 28 percent from beyond the arc this season. Last year, he shot 36 percent.
Felton hopes to be 100 percent healthy when he hits the court this time around.
"I hope [the hamstring strain] is gone for sure," he said.
A very Ray Christmas: Felton continued his work with New York City's youth on Thursday. As an ambassador for the New York City Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, Felton hosted 100 children -- 60 from the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program and 40 from a foster care program -- at Basketball City on the Lower East Side. The children went through a basketball clinic and then were treated to pizza, prizes and free clothing courtesy of Felton and his foundation.
"I can't do it for the whole world, I wish I could. But just to impact and touch 100 kids' lives, that's my Christmas present to myself and to them," Felton said. "This right here means more to me than anything ... it means the world to me."
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