Although the team's presumptive starting shooting guard has been participating in shooting drills and exercises since training camp began, he has no intentions of playing soon. Some rumors of a December return have been floated, but the second-year player said that he wouldn't come back before his knee was totally ready:
"January, February is what we’re aiming for. I’m just trying to get healthy. When I get healthy, I’ll return to the court. I’m not going to come back and not be able to do the things I did last year and a little more. I want to come back and add something.’’
Shumpert tore his ACL and meniscus in the first game of last year's playoff series against the Miami Heat and has not played since. The only player on the Knicks' roster under the age of 27, Shumpert was impressive as a rookie, becoming a ballhawk and the team's best perimeter defender and adding 9.5 points per game. In his absence, the team has turned to a similar type player in Ronnie Brewer to start with J.R. Smith playing large minutes off the bench, although it's assumed Shumpert will reclaim his starting role when he returns.