"I don't think he's 100 percent," Mike Woodson said of his sixth man. "So we've just got to be patient with that and I might have to back off minutes with him so we're not standing a chance of losing him down the stretch down the season."
Shortly after he re-signed with the Knicks over the summer, Smith underwent patellar tendon surgery and an arthroscopy for a tear in the lateral meniscus of his left knee.
He's struggled mightily so far this season. The 28-year-old entered play Thursday shooting just 33 percent from the floor. The Knicks are 1-9 since Smith made his season debut following a five-game suspension for violating the league's drug policy.
Woodson said on Thursday that he will monitor Smith's minutes.
"We just have to play it by ear and see," he said.
Smith has been playing 31 minutes per night.
Woody 'surprised' by Kidd decision: Woodson fully expected Kidd to return to the Knicks last may. He admitted on Thursday that he was a bit taken aback by Kidd's decision to retire.
"I was surprised," Woodson said. "But again, Jason has spent a long time in this league and he has the right to retire and move on. Obviously he had something else going and he ended up here as a head coach. We would have loved to have him back but that just hasn't been the case."
The Knicks started the season 18-6 last year with Kidd playing heavy minutes. They are 3-13 heading into Thursday's game against Brooklyn.