On Thursday, New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said that J.R. Smith is “ready to go” and Amar’e Stoudemire could return in the team’s final preseason game on Friday against the Bobcats.
Woodson also said, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley, that Kenyon Martin may see some playing time too.
Even if healthy, Smith will have to sit out the first five games of the season due to a suspension by the league for violating the NBA’s drug policy. Both Stoudemire and Martin are targeting to be available for opening night next Wednesday against Milwaukee.
Martin has been battling an ankle injury throughout preseason, though the initial injury happened about six months ago (during last season). Both Stoudemire and Smith are recovering from offseason knee procedures.
Smith is coming off a Sixth Man of the Year season, but is, reportedly, in a position battle with Iman Shumpert, and has gone on record saying that he’d prefer to start.