Knicks' Curry close to return

Knicks center Eddy Curry, who has not played this season because of a bruised right knee, said in an interview with the New York Post that he is close to returning to practice.

"I talked to [Coach Mike D'Antoni] a couple of times," Curry told the Post. "He really assured me he wants me to be part of what's going on and for me not to lose my concentration and stay in it mentally and keep trying to work hard so when I come back I'm not too far behind. I'm glad he's anticipating my return."

It appears to be a turnaround in attitude -- on the parts of both Curry and D'Antoni. Toward the end of the preseason, D'Antoni revealed he was not planning on using Curry in his regular rotation. Curry had missed most of training camp because of a bacterial infection, and D'Antoni had openly doubted Curry's efforts to get into playing shape.

Curry, 25, who had been surprised to find out he was not considered a part of D'Antoni's up-tempo, quick movement system, initially had struggled mentally while rehabilitating his sore knee. Curry had to have his knee drained after injuring it twice in the preseason, and tests showed that while there was no structural damage, there was a bone bruise.

But Monday, according to the Post, Curry completed a three-week rehab that included a weekly shot in his knee to reduce the pain. He might be able to do on-court drills on Christmas, when the Knicks return to practice, and rejoin the team in full practices in a week, the Post reported.

If all goes according to plan, Curry might make his season debut in two weeks.

"I'm excited, I'm ready to get back," Curry told the Post. "I'm definitely excited."

Last season, Curry averaged 13.2 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. During the preseason, he averaged 4.3 points and 2.5 boards in nearly 14 minutes. But with the trade of Zach Randolph, the Knicks need Curry's 7-foot presence.

"I talked to him and he said he wants to play. When he gets out there he'll be helpful to us," Knicks president Donnie Walsh said.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.