Best-case for Shumpert is December return

Iman Shumpert continues to progress in his rehab from a torn left ACL.

The second-year guard is gaining strength in his calf and thigh and feels as if his left leg is "stabilized."

"It's nice to be back on my feet and start to gain that strength back. ... There's been a big smile on my face," Shumpert told ESPN New York on Tuesday while working at a Wall Street fundraiser in remembrance of 9/11.

The second-year guard didn't want to reveal too much about his rehab. He reiterated that, in the best-case scenario, he will return to the court between December and February.

"Every week (rehab intensifies) a little bit more and a little bit more, so I'm just being patient," said Shumpert, who led all NBA rookies with 1.7 steals per game last year and averaged 9.5 points. "I'm not trying to come back early. I'm just trying to come back when I can help."

Shumpert was walking around without a limp on Tuesday, hanging out with teammates J.R. Smith, Chris Smith and Ronnie Brewer at the BGC Partners offices near Wall Street.

Carmelo Anthony, Larry Johnson, Allan Houston, Glen Grunwald and Mike Woodson and his assistant coaches were on hand as well.

Shumpert and his teammates took over the trade desk at BGC, working the phones and taking trade calls during the fundraiser. All of the global revenues from BGC and Cantor Fitzgerald, which lost scores of workers in the 9/11 attacks, will be donated to charities.

"That they even want me to be a part of something like this is great," Shumpert said. "We get to turn a negative into a positive."

Shumpert hopes to be able to do the same with his torn left ACL, which he suffered in Game 1 of the Knicks-Heat playoff series.

The original prognosis from the team stated that Shumpert would be out 6-8 months. In "a perfect world," Shumpert said, he'd return tho the court as early as December, which would be eight months from the date of his injury.

Given the nature of the injury and the fact that Shumpert would need time to condition his body back into NBA shape, there's no way to say definitively when he will return at this point. That's why the stated goal for his return has been anywhere between December and February.

"I want to come back when I can add something to the team," Shumpert said. "I don't want to come back for the claps and (recognition). I want to come back fully healthy and I want to come back and do more than I did last season."

Shumpert was upbeat when discussing his injury, but smiled before declining to offer specific details on his rehab schedule. He said that he wanted certain things to remain in "the Knicks' circle."

"Everybody doesn't need to know what I'm doing," the 22-year-old said with a laugh. "They just need to know that I will be back this season."

For the time being, the Knicks will turn to Brewer to provide the perimeter defense that they'll be missing with Shumpert sidelined.

Brewer underwent surgery to repair a medial meniscus tear in his left knee late last week. The veteran guard expects to return in time to participate in two weeks of training camp and is confident he will be ready for the Knicks' season-opener on Nov. 1.

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