Derrick Rose back with Knicks after undergoing ankle surgery

Derrick Rose is back with the Knicks, and while he still won’t be playing any time soon, he can now lend his veteran presence in person again. 

The point guard has rejoined the Knicks at their practice facility in Tarrytown, after undergoing ankle surgery on Dec. 22 that the team said would keep him out for at least eight weeks. 

“It’s great to see him back in the building,” coach Tom Thibodeau said Tuesday. “He’s moving around a little bit, [but] he’s still got a long rehab to go through.” 

The Knicks have missed Rose as their point guard for the second unit, but the 33-year-old’s return to the team has still provided a lift as he goes through his own challenging road back to the court. 

“I think his mindset is great,” teammate Taj Gibson said. “He was smiling, he was happy. He understands that it’s a process as far as getting mentally right, but making sure you can perform at 110 percent. And knowing where we’re at in the standings (11th place in the Eastern Conference entering Tuesday) and we’re just right there and knowing he’s coming back, so we’ve still got some time to make up some ground. I think he’s on a positive note.” 

Derrick Rose arrives to the arena before the game against the Celtics on Dec. 18, 2021 at TD Garden.
NBAE via Getty Images

It’s possible the Knicks could get Kemba Walker and Nerlens Noel back on Wednesday against the Mavericks. Walker has not played since Dec. 29 because of left knee soreness while Noel has been out since Dec. 22 because of COVID-19. 

“Both guys are day-to-day,” Thibodeau said. “They’re doing more. So we’ll see how they feel [Wednesday]. But they’re ramping it up, so hopefully it’s good.” 

Thibodeau said the first part of Walker’s absence was letting his knee “calm down” and now the training staff is “loading him back up.” 

As for Noel, he was cleared from health and safety protocols last Tuesday but has still not played since as he works to get his conditioning back. 

Kristaps Porzingis won’t be making a return to the Garden on Wednesday night, as the Mavericks ruled him out due to health and safety protocols. 

The Knicks will see former teammate Reggie Bullock, though, whose presence they have missed defensively after letting him go to Dallas in free agency last offseason. 

“Just with the relationship that we had here, obviously he was great for us, he’s a great teammate and I’m happy to see that he’s playing well over there, especially as of late,” Julius Randle said. “It’ll be lovely to see him for sure.” 

The Knicks assigned Miles McBride to G-League Westchester, where he and Jericho Sims were available to play Tuesday night.

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