No timetable for J.R.'s return

NEW YORK -- J.R. Smith continues to progress in his rehab from offseason knee surgery. But there is no timetable for his return.

"No, not yet," Smith said Saturday. "I wish."

Smith had left patella tendon surgery and an arthroscopy for a tear in the lateral meniscus of his left knee in mid-July.

The initial recovery time for Smith's surgery, which was performed by team orthopedist Dr. Answorth Allen, was approximately 12 to 16 weeks. That meant Smith would likely miss part of training camp and the beginning of the regular season.

J.R. Smith

J.R. Smith

#8 SG
New York Knicks

2013 STATS

  • GM80
  • PPG18.1

  • RPG5.3

  • APG2.7

  • FG%.422

  • FT%.762

The Knicks open the season Oct. 30 at home against Milwaukee. At this point, Smith isn't sure if he'll be ready to go by then.

"I want to get out there as soon as possible. I know they're going to make sure I come back healthy, 100 percent so I don't re-injure it or make it worse," Smith said at a PGA Foundation golf clinic at Chelsea Piers for the New York/New Jersey Boys & Girls Club. Smith said there is still swelling in his knee.

If Smith isn't ready for the beginning of the season, the Knicks may ask rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. to fill the void left by last season's Sixth Man award winner.

EXCITED FOR CHRIS: As expected, Chris Smith, J.R.'s younger brother, will get an invite to Knicks training camp. Undrafted out of Louisville in 2012, Smith played on the Knicks' summer league team last July but underwent patella tendon surgery in October. He also played for the Knicks' summer league team this past summer.

"I can't wait to see him get out there and show what he can do. He's been working so hard to get an opportunity and a chance. I think he'll do a great job," J.R. Smith said. "The key to success is to work hard and work smart … I think he's been doing that."

MORE MELO DRAMA? J.R. Smith was in Denver when Carmelo Anthony requested a trade from the Nuggets in 2010-2011. He may be around similar 'Melo-Drama' this year as Anthony has an opt-out clause in his contract after this season.

"I've had that worry from when we were in Denver and it was nerve-wracking all season. So this season I'm not even going to focus on it, I'm not going to let it get to me," Smith told ESPN New York. "I'm just going to go out there and play my game and whatever his choice is, his choice is at the end of the day."

Asked if he thought Anthony would leave the Knicks after this season, Smith said, "I don't see him leaving, but I said that same thing in Denver so, like I said, it's up to him."

SMITH'S MESSAGE TO THE BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB: Smith spent a few hours on Saturday at Chelsea Piers at the driving range hanging out with members of the New York/New Jersey Boys & Girls Club. He hopes to continue to work with the PGA Foundation and Boys & Girls club in the future.

"It's a great feeling for me, my mom, my father, my family," Smith said. "My advice for the kids is when you're doing something you want to do, just put your heart into it, put your all into and just don't try to cheat yourself."

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