- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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If Jeremy Lin doesn't have any arthritic pain after Monday's knee surgery, he could be back on the court in two to three weeks.
So says ESPN Medical Analyst Dr. Michael Kaplan.
Kaplan said on a SportsCenter appearance and interview with 1050 ESPN New York Ryan Ruocco and Robin Lundberg on Monday that the Knicks were being conservative when they estimated that Lin would be out six weeks following surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.
"It sounds a little bit long," Kaplan said of the Knicks' timetable for Lin. "I think they're probably hedging their bets a little bit. Unless they saw something more, namely some injury to his joint surface, three or four weeks is usually enough time to ... play basketball and be a point guard. So I think (New York's six-week timetable for Lin's return) is a little bit more generous than is likely."
Kaplan said the Knicks would likely have a better idea on Lin's timetable for recovery following surgery. The team announced that surgery was completed on Monday at the Hospital for Special Surgery by team orthopedist Dr. Answorth Allen.
Kaplan believes that, as long as Lin has no injury to his joint surface, he can return to the court before the end of the regular season.
"He's going to put huge stresses (on his knee) as a guard on this but I think it's not too optimistic to think (he'll be back in) two to three weeks and certainly by four, barring any changes on the joint surface," Kaplan told Ruocco and Lundberg.
Kaplan agreed with the team's decision to let Lin test the knee for a week to see if he could play through the pain before deciding to have surgery.
"This had been brewing for a while," Kaplan told the radio hosts. "If you can manage it ... then it's fair to let him play and get him through the season. But obviously, they couldn't. He was having enough soreness, interfering with his cutting and twisting, that they felt they had to commit to the operation."
KAPLAN ON AMARE: Amare Stoudemire recently received an epidural shot to try to calm the pain associated with the bulging disk in his lower back. He's continuing to receive treatment in an effort to return to the court. He traveled with the team to Indiana on Monday, which is believed to be a positive sign in his attempt to return from the injury before the end of the regular season.
Kaplan says Stoudemire's return all depends on how he responds to treatment.
"They're treating him conservatively," Kaplan said. ".... As soon as he feels up to it, meaning he's got no leg pain or weakness, numbness, then they can get him back."
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