Adelman says McGrady not close

DALLAS -- Tracy McGrady is closer to getting back on the court after microfracture surgery, but no timetable has been set for the seven-time All-Star's return to the Houston Rockets.

"He's been able to practice and doesn't have the pain he had last year," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said Tuesday. "He still has a long ways to go as far as running the court and moving defensively."

There was an Internet report Monday that McGrady, who had surgery on his left knee in February, planned to make his season debut Nov. 18 against Minnesota.

However, McGrady backed off that statement on Tuesday, saying instead that Nov. 18 was just a "target date."

"It's a target date," McGrady told the Houston Chronicle on Tuesday. "I didn't say I was coming back; I said it was a target date just like we have a date to have the MRI on the 23rd. Everybody is blowing it out of proportion like I'm guaranteed to come back. I want to play, so that's what we're targeting. I've been working out every day, improving every day, and that's what it is.

"It's not a guarantee that I'm coming back. It's a target date," he said.

Adelman also was quick to dismiss that date.

"Coming off that surgery, you're not going to have the quickness you had before," Adelman said. "He's done OK. But he has a long way to go."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.