- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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GREENBURGH -- The question's been asked again and again in recent days: Why is Rasheed Wallace still on the Knicks roster?
On Saturday, Mike Woodson explained why the organization has decided to keep the injured Wallace on the 15-man roster rather than releasing him.
"We know that the surgery was successful, now it’s just up to him to rehab. He wants to play. That was the whole reason for bringing him," Woodson said. "Unfortunately he’s had this surgery. It happens. We didn’t expect STAT to go through what he went through earlier in the year. The door is still open for Rasheed to come back and play. He’s just got to put in the time and rehab and put in the time on the floor because he can help us in the long run."
Wallace underwent surgery to repair a fractured bone in his left foot on Thursday and is expected to be out for approximately eight weeks.
The Knicks, for the time being, have decided to keep him on the roster and let him rehab the injury with the hope that he can return in the postseason.
The other option would be to release Wallace and sign another player to fill the open roster spot.
Wallace was a valuable piece for the Knicks before he went down with a left foot ailment on Dec. 13. In 20 games, he averaged 7.2 points and 4.2 rebounds in 14.6 minutes.
It's worth noting that there are no obvious candidates to replace Wallace on the roster at this point (Henry Sims, Delonte West are among the popular candidates). Players had to be placed on waivers prior to the March 1 deadline to be eligible for a playoff roster.
It's also worth noting that the Knicks can cut Wallace whenever they want to add a player, should they covet one.
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2dIan O'Connor, ESPN Senior Writer