- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Knicks say Lin's status is uncertain for Game 5. But, if the 23-year-old makes it through team workouts prior to tipoff on Wednesday, there is a possibility he could return to the floor. Lin hasn't played since March 24 due to a small meniscus tear in his left knee.
Knicks interim coach Mike Woodson said the team would make a determination on Lin's status after the team's practice on Tuesday.
"He'll get back into the gym (Monday) talk to the doctors about where he is physically," Woodson said. "We'll make some decisions before we get on the plane and head to Miami."
Lin's return became a more pressing issue on Sunday after Baron Davis left the Knicks' 89-87 Game 4 win with a dislocated right patella.
That is, unless Lin returns.
When Lin last addressed reporters on Thursday, he did not rule out the possibility of playing in Game 5, which is Wednesday night in Miami.
"I just want to take it day by day. Game 4 doesn't look great. Game 5, I have no idea," he said.
Early last week, Lin had held out hope of returning on Sunday afternoon. But Lin's surgically repaired left knee hadn't healed quickly enough for him to take the court. He had surgery on April 2 to repair a small meniscus tear in the knee.
Lin experienced soreness in his left knee Thursday, a day after scrimmaging for the first time since surgery.
He practiced on Friday, running full court drills with Amare Stoudemire, Douglas and assistant coach Kenny Atkinson.
Speaking after Sunday's win, some of the Knicks were optimistic that Lin could return on Wednesday night.
"I hope so," Landry Fields said when asked if Lin could play in Game 5. "... He seems to be moving really well. I haven't seen him go through full physical workouts yet, but he looks all right."
"I think he can come back, he's looked good. It just depends on how confident he is (with the injury)," Steve Novak said.
Carmelo Anthony, who has expressed skepticism about Lin's ability to return this season, took a different tone. He cryptically said he looked forward to having Lin back "next season" when asked about Lin's status after the game.
If Lin returns, Woodson said last week that he would play limited minutes.
"It was nice seeing him run up and down (Thursday) but it's a little different when you're talking about playing playoff basketball and you've got to push and hold and cut and defend guys that are coming at you full speed," Woodson said on Thursday. "We've just got to wait it out and see where we are with him."
Lin's ability to suit up in Game 5 took on greater importance for the Knicks when Davis was carted off on a stretcher in the third quarter after dislocating his knee cap.
The 33-year-old was dribbling down court and appeared to go down without contact when his knee buckled.
Davis was on the ground for several minutes being tended to by team trainers. Eventually, he was taken off the court on a stretcher. He pointed at the crowd as he was wheeled off the floor, to a loud ovation from the Madison Square Garden faithful, but was shown wincing as he traveled through the players' tunnel.
"I almost shed a tear on the court to be honest with you," Stoudemire said after the game, in which he scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while playing with a bandaged left hand due to a laceration.
"... Baron's such a great guy off the court, as a teammate. He's a phenomenal locker room guy and to see that, I dropped down to one knee and said a prayer while he was on the ground. It was sad."
Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.
12hMatt Walks, ESPN.com