Knicks’ Derrick Rose set to begin rehab work on ankle

The first major step in Derrick Rose’s rehab from ankle surgery is upon us.

Even as Rose appeared in seventh place among guards in the early returns for Eastern Conference All-Star voting, there is no real timetable for his return.

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said Rose will start showing up at the team’s Tarrytown facility to begin his physical therapy. Rose has been away from the team — on crutches — since undergoing ankle surgery on Dec. 22.

At the time of the surgery, the Knicks announced he’d be out at least eight weeks. So he’s at least six weeks away.

“Rehab is his game right now,’’ Thibodeau said before the Knicks beat the Celtics 108-105 Thursday night. “He just got cleared to start his physical therapy. Everything is going well. Put everything you have into that. Once it’s good for him to get out there, he’ll get out.’’

Entering the season, pundits thought the Knicks would only be as good as the health of their two oft-injured point guards, Kemba Walker, 31 years old, and Rose, 33. Walker had a mysterious setback on New Year’s Eve in Oklahoma City during pregame warm-ups and missed his fourth straight game Thursday.

Derrick Rose
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It didn’t appear he’d be ready for the second leg of this home-and-home Saturday in Boston.

“He did more today,’’ Thibodeau said. “So day-to-day. Each day he’s doing more and more. Just want it to calm down, and when he’s ready, he’s ready.’’

Walker broke down after playing a back-to-back set in Minnesota and Detroit in late December. He didn’t play any back-to-backs with the Celtics last season. That probably will be the plan going forward.

“Whatever he can handle, that’s what he’ll get,’’ Thibodeau said. “We’ll go from there. We’re down bodies and now we got guys back and I like the depth at that position.’’

Though he was banished from playing for nine games, it is expected Walker will reclaim the starting job.

Julius Randle, who made his first All-Star team last season, was not in the top 10 in voting among Eastern Conference forwards. He finished with 22 points Thursday after averaging 19.6 points, 10.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists for the season. … RJ Barrett, who scored 13 points Thursday, including the game-winning buzzer-beater, is the first Knick to secure four 30-point games in a season as a 21-year-old.

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