Originally posted on Knicks Journal  |  Last updated 6/16/12

Iman Shumpert's rookie campaign with the Knicks was an exciting and eventful one. He fought through various minor injuries to make an impact many had not expected.

The Georgia Tech product first emerged as the athletic headlining attraction for a Knickerbocker bench that otherwise became known as "Mobb Deep," but soon clawed his way into the starting lineup.

Though he entertained fans with his electrifying dunks all season long, Shumpert won Coach Mike Woodson over by displaying some strong defensive prowess. A fearless defender, the young gun took on an array of offensive opponents, such as Paul Pierce, Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, and even Dirk Nowitzki.

That is why it was most disheartening for his team to watch him go down with a major injury in the first round of this season's playoffs. After suffering a torn ACL against the Heat, the most optimistic diagnosis for Shumpert was a 6-8 month timetable for return.

Having suffered the injury at the end of April, it was clear Shumpert would be missing the start of next season either way. That said, the Knicks could have still been hopeful for him to return closer to six months later, rather than eight.

Perhaps not anymore. Though he sang the team's training staff praises regarding the early stages of his rehab process, Shumpert, an active Twitter user, has said in posts he doesn't plan on hitting the court until January.

While things can always change and he may find himself ahead of schedule as the season draws closer, it appears as though Shumpert is prepared to not rush things as he makes his way back. The Knicks obviously want him at full strength, so perhaps slow and steady is the smart way to be. Having said that, only time will tell whether Shumpert will be in game shape come January without any training camp or Summer League. It may be a while until he can fully make the impact the Knicks have come to expect and rely on.

Nevertheless, the young gun has been working hard and is already off his crutches. Watch the clip above to hear his thoughts about the rehab process and his expectations for next season, courtesy of MSG.com.
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