Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/24/13
As long as he doesn't have any pain in his surgically repaired left knee before tipoff J.R. Smith will make his preseason debut for the New York Knicks on Friday night. Smith did not scrimmage in Thursday's practice but both he and coach Mike Woodson are optimistic he will take the court against the Charlotte Bobcats in the Knicks' preseason finale. "He's ready to go. I thought he proved that the other day in Toronto when he had his first serious contact. Today was the same" Woodson said. The coach added that he doesn't plan on playing Smith "big minutes" if he is cleared for Friday. Woodson also hopes that forwards Amar'e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin can take the court for the first time against the Bobcats. Stoudemire went through contact drills on Thursday but did not scrimmage according to the Knicks. The six-time All-Star scrimmaged for the first time Tuesday and said his oft-injured knees felt strong. Martin did not go through contact drills on Thursday according to the team but he scrimmaged along with Stoudemire and Smith on Tuesday. The veteran forward has missed all six of the Knicks' preseason games thanks to lingering discomfort in his left ankle. The ailment is a concern for the Knicks because Martin first injured his ankle in April. Woodson has said that neither Stoudemire nor Martin will play in both games of a back-to-back set during the regular season. The Knicks also will be cautious with both players when they play sets of four games in five nights or five games in seven nights.
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