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Bender back after 3-year absence

Updated: December 13, 2009, 10:34 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks have signed free agent Jonathan Bender, marking the oft-injured forward's return to the NBA after a three-year absence.

Knicks president Donnie Walsh announced the move in a statement Sunday.

The 7-foot Bender enjoyed his best season in 2001-02, when he averaged career highs of 7.4 points and 3.1 rebounds in 78 games.

But injuries forced Bender to miss 172 games over the next three seasons before chronic knee pain sidelined him indefinitely in ...

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