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Felton cleared to practice

BOSTON -- Raymond Felton has been cleared to take full contact in practice on Friday, a significant hurdle in his attempt to return from a fractured right pinky.

Felton will participate in a full practice on Friday for the first time since he fractured his right pinky on Dec. 25.

He hopes to return to the floor on Saturday against Philadelphia.

"It's been feeling good," Felton said of his pinky, which he says was fractured in three places. "The biggest test will be tomorrow."

Felton likely won't know his status for the Sixers game until just before tipoff.

The 28-year-old point guard is itching to get back, but wants to be cautious with the injury. He has been told that if he breaks the pinky again, he would need surgery. Felton estimates that surgery would sideline him for the remainder of the season.

"If I have to sit out another two games and come back at home, if that's what it takes, then that's what I have to do," Felton said.

The Knicks have struggled without Felton. Entering play Thursday, the Knicks had lost six of 11 since he went down.

The offense has become more isolation heavy and less reliant on pick-and-rolls, a staple of the Knicks' attack earlier in the season.

On the bright side for Felton, he says the bone bruises in his left and right hand he'd been playing with earlier in the season have been "feeling good" -- an ancillary benefit of the injury.

He also says he is in excellent physical condition thanks to all of the running he's done while hurt.