Knee tendinitis to keep struggling Francis out of lineup

One major contender for playing time in Isiah Thomas' crowded backcourt has taken himself out of the picture. New York Knicks guard Steve Francis has decided to rest while dealing with tendinitis in his right knee and will be out indefinitely.

A New York Times report Friday said Francis will be out "several days and perhaps weeks."

Francis has been afflicted with the ailment for months, and the pain has only gotten worse. He made the decision following the Knicks' 113-102 loss to the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.

"He had a difficult time getting up from the dinner table," Francis' agent, Jeff Fried, said, according to the Times. "He needs to be healthy to perform and help the team, and this is the way to do it."

Surgery is not yet considered an option, but Francis acknowledged the recovery will take some time.

"It's not something that can just be cured overnight," Francis said. "I just have to be patient and try to work through it."

Francis has been competing for playing time with Stephon Marbury, Jamal Crawford, and Quentin Richardson in the Knicks' guard slots this season. But the Francis-Marbury superstar tandem has not produced wins, causing Thomas to shuffle his lineup frequently in recent weeks.

Francis said he would accept coming off the bench, if needed, when he returned.

"I'm worried about my knee more than anything," Francis said.