Rasheed Wallace returns to play

New York Knicks veteran Rasheed Wallace took the floor for the first time in four months on Monday in Charlotte. But the veteran forward played just four minutes in the first half of the Knicks-Bobcats game. He was ruled out in the second half of the game with a sore left foot.

Wallace had not played since Dec. 13 because of a stress fracture in his left foot. He had surgery in late February to repair the injury and had been running for the past few days. Knicks coach Mike Woodson initially told reporters in Charlotte that Wallace would play approximately 12 minutes Monday night against the Bobcats.

But he was not available in the second half. It is not clear if Wallace was ruled out for precautionary reasons or because he had aggravated his foot injury.

The Knicks hope that Wallace, 38, is healthy enough to play 10-15 minutes per game in the playoffs to provide depth on the front line. So Monday's game will be used to gauge Wallace's availability for the postseason.

The Knicks went 16-4 with Wallace in the lineup. The 15-year veteran averaged 7.2 points and 4.2 rebounds in 14.6 minutes for the Knicks.

His presence would boost a New York front line that has been decimated by injuries in recent days.

Tyson Chandler has missed four consecutive games and 14 of the past 18 because of a bulging disk in his neck. Kenyon Martin has missed the past three games with a sprained left ankle and five of the last six. Neither player traveled to Charlotte with the team but both are expected to play in the postseason.

Marcus Camby is with the team and on the active list for Monday's game against Charlotte. He had been inactive for the past six games with a left plantar fascia injury.

Several Knicks regulars will not play against the Bobcats.

Carmelo Anthony did not travel with the team to Charlotte. J.R. Smith, according to reports, also did not travel with the Knicks.

The team says Anthony is out with a sore left shoulder. Anthony said after Sunday's win over the Pacers that his shoulder injury was not a major issue. He added that he'd probably skip the Bobcats game because the matchup is inconsequential for New York.

The Knicks have clinched the Atlantic Division title and the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, so they have nothing left to accomplish in the regular season.

They will face the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs.