Knicks' Marbury plans to play Monday vs. Pacers

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Knicks guard Stephon Marbury returned to practice Sunday after missing a week while mourning the death of his father.

Marbury plans to play Monday when the Knicks host the Indiana Pacers. He had missed four straight games after briefly trying to return following the Dec. 2 death of his father, Donald.

Looking noticeably thinner, Marbury said he started working out
again a few days ago. He has appeared in just two of the past seven

"Eventually I was going to have to get back into it," Marbury
said. "So I knew that I was going to have to start working out and
getting myself back into it mentally and emotionally."

Marbury acknowledged it was difficult going back to Madison
Square Garden last Saturday night, where his father was watching
the Knicks' loss to Phoenix on Dec. 2 when he began experiencing
chest pains. Don Marbury was taken to a hospital and died before
the game ended. Stephon Marbury was told of his father's death
minutes after the final buzzer.

He missed the next game, then played in the next two after the funeral. The latter was at the Garden, and Marbury was not with the Knicks the next day for practice.

"It was kind of tough and just the whole ambiance of what happened and being back in the same position was tough," Marbury said.

Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said he would decide Monday if Marbury would start, but noted his conditioning could be a problem.

"Physically he's got a ways to go," Thomas said. "With a world-class athlete, you miss four or five days and it's almost like you've been off conditioning-wise for about two months."