Michael Kidd-Gilchrist returns

Charlotte Bobcats small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who has missed six weeks with a broken left hand, returned to action Tuesday night against the New York Knicks.

"My hand is doing well. I'm just ready to play. It's been a month, so I can't wait until [Tuesday] against the Knicks," Kidd-Gilchrist told the Charlotte Observer on Monday. "I'm out of rhythm a little bit, but that's usual. I want to be on the court and win some games."

Coach Steve Clifford told the Observer that Kidd-Gilchrist, who is wearing a padded half-glove to protect his fingers, will start and play for 6-to-7 minute stints after having participated in three practices without any lingering problems.

"Play him segments of minutes so that he's able to function well, then get him out so he can regroup," Clifford told the Observer. "I don't know yet what Mike can handle. We'll read it [from his performance] and go from there."

The second-year player, who suffered the injury against Dallas on Dec. 3, has averaged 9.1 points and 5.3 rebounds in 18 games this season.