GREENBURGH, N.Y. >> Jeremy Lin all but ruled himself out of Game 4 against the Miami Heat, still hoping he can return if the Knicks extend their first-round series.
Lin said Sunday’s game "doesn’t look great" but that he doesn’t know how he will feel if the Knicks are still playing next week. New York trails 2-0 going into Game 3 on Thursday night.
Lin had surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee on April 2. The Knicks said at the time he was expected to miss six weeks. The point guard said he is ahead of schedule, but not two weeks ahead.
He played full-court, 3-on-3 during practice Wednesday in his fullest workout yet, then stayed off the court for treatment Thursday morning as planned. He said his conditioning was surprisingly good, but he still hadn’t tested how the knee would respond to various movements and didn’t think he would be able to before Sunday.
"I don’t think the timing — I’ll probably get one more day of contact maybe in between now and the next game, and I haven’t been able to really load it or jump or explode or drive by somebody the way I want to," Lin said. "So it’s going to be longer than that."
He said the pain level Thursday "wasn’t the worst, it wasn’t the best," but felt he was going in the right direction.
The Knicks also are missing injured forward Amare Stoudemire and guard Iman Shumpert, and Lin said it’s difficult knowing his mind wants to help but his body may not let him. Playing against the Heat’s defense if he’s well below full strength might be pointless; after all, they forced him into 1-for-11 shooting and eight turnovers in a Feb. 23 game at Miami.
Lin didn’t want to speculate on his chances for another game down there. Game 5 would be Wednesday.
"I don’t really want to say I am or am not, I just want to take it day by day," he said. "Game 4 doesn’t look great. I mean, Game 5, I have no idea."