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Saturday, December 29, 2012
Your Knicks Sunday practice primer

By Ian Begley

The Jets are out of the playoffs. The Giants need a miracle to get in.

So if you’re looking for a relevant sporting event Sunday, look no further than Knicks practice.

Practice, you say? Yes, we’re talking about practice.

The Knicks’ Sunday practice is a pivotal one because several injured players are expected to participate with the hope of returning for Tuesday’s game against Portland.

Let’s take a look at each player:

CARMELO ANTHONY: Anthony has missed two games with a hyperextended left knee. He suffered the injury in the Knicks’ Christmas Day game against the Lakers when Marcus Camby fell backward with his head slamming into Anthony’s left knee.

Anthony, the Knicks’ leading scorer at 28.5 points per game, told reporters in Sacramento that he felt swelling in his knee and had difficulty walking the day after the Lakers game. He said he has not undergone an MRI and has no structural damage. He hopes to return to the practice floor Sunday and play Tuesday against Portland.

AMAR’E STOUDEMIRE: Stoudemire is expected to practice with the Knicks for the first time since his Oct. 31 left knee debridement. He practiced twice with the Knicks’ D League team, the Erie BayHawks, before the Knicks went on their West Coast trip.

Both Stoudemire and the Knicks hope he can return to the court Tuesday. He first needs to get through practice without feeling significant soreness in his left knee. He felt sore after both practices with Erie last week.

RASHEED WALLACE: After missing the past eight games with a stress reaction in his left foot, Wallace and Mike Woodson hope the veteran forward can return to the court against Portland.

He participated in the morning shootaround Friday in Portland -- without the walking boot he’d been wearing in recent days -- and hopes to practice Sunday.

Wallace and Camby, who has given the Knicks quality minutes in their last three games, have provided depth when they’re healthy as Stoudemire works his way back.

IMAN SHUMPERT: He isn’t close to returning to the court for the Knicks (21-9), but Shumpert will take an important step in his recovery from offseason ACL surgery Sunday when he participates in noncontact drills with the Knicks. The next step for Shumpert is to get into scrimmages and take contact with his teammates. He also needs to show he can bounce back from workouts without feeling significant soreness in his left knee.

Shumpert hopes to return sometime next month.

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