Lin, the ’ young point-guard sensation, is on a six-week rehabilitation schedule that will probably end his season, unless the Knicks advance in the playoffs. Although the early signs are good, it is too soon to say whether Lin can beat projections.
“Scared to say that right now,” he said. “Because all the doctors are saying that this is normal — like after about one and a half to two weeks is when you can really see how well you’re doing.”
He added, “I’m trying to be cautiously optimistic, I guess.”
Lin had surgery last Monday to repair a small tear in his meniscus — “about as minor as it could be,” he said. Lin said he hoped to be jogging in a straight line by the end of next week. Forward movement is the easy part; it is the lateral movement that caused Lin pain before the operation and will be the greatest concern as he recovers.
“It’s the cutting and the jumping that’s going to be the tricky part,” he said.
Asked if he could return for the first round of the playoffs, which begin the weekend of April 28-29, Lin said, “I think unless something goes really well, I probably wouldn’t be able to get there.”
Lin averaged 18.5 points and 7.6 assists in 26 games as the Knicks’ primary point guard after seizing the job in early February. He carried a heavy load in responsibilities and minutes, which might have contributed to the wear and tear on his knee. Until two months ago, Lin had never played a regular role in the N.B.A., and the compressed schedule this season has been especially taxing. “But I don’t know if that was an exact cause,” he said.
Lin said he planned to work with trainers this summer to strengthen his body for a greater role next season, wherever he plays. He will be a restricted free agent in July.
“I’m just going to let it happen the way it’s supposed to happen,” he said. “I’m not going to worry about it too much right now.”