Originally Posted by NY Daily News
MINNEAPOLIS - Antonio McDyess said yesterday his long-awaited return could happen Monday against Detroit at the Garden.
The final decision on whether to play will be made after McDyess, sidelined since October 2002, goes through Sunday's practice without suffering any setbacks.

"Right now, I'm shooting for that," said McDyess, who before yesterday refused to offer a timetable. "If I have a good practice, if things go well then I'm ready to roll. That's probably the time. But I don't want to say definitely."

McDyess has missed 169 of 179 games over three seasons. He was sidelined all of last season after fracturing his left kneecap and has had three left knee surgeries in 19 months. "I just want to get out on the court, if it's a minute or 10 minutes," he said. "Regardless, it's going to be limited time for me. It doesn't matter because I just want to get out on the court."

McDyess began to strongly consider returning this Monday after having a strong practice on Tuesday. For the past two weeks, McDyess has said his knee was no longer an issue and that once he had his timing was back he would return.

"I got a lot more familiar with the plays," McDyess said of Tuesday's practice. "That's what I definitely needed to get familiar with. I had a little more confidence yesterday. I feel good about myself."

McDyess has not appeared in an NBA regular-season game since March 20, 2002, when he was with the Denver Nuggets. After being traded to the Knicks, McDyess appeared in three preseason games before being injured. When McDyess does return he will do so as a backup.

PACE-SETTERS: The Knicks are in Indiana tonight to face the Pacers, who at 12-2 own the league's best record. They were also 12-2 last season under Isiah Thomas, who was replaced by Rick Carlisle three months ago.

"I don't want to take away from Rick Carlisle's accomplishments because he's done a great job, but some people are inclined to boost him up and forget about what Isiah did with this team last year," said Knicks assistant coach Brendan Malone. "This year, the point guard play is more solid."

Malone was Thomas' top assistant for three seasons with Indiana before returning to the Knicks. Malone rejoined the Knicks while Thomas was still the Pacers' coach. The Pacers were 35-14 going into the All-Star break, but according to Malone, the team "fractured in the second half for a lot of reasons." Both Reggie Miller and Brad Miller got hurt and Jamaal Tinsley spent time away from the team to be with his ailing mother.

GOOD (NO) SIGN: Sometimes the best free agent signings are the ones you don't make. The Knicks were interested in Michael Olowokandi over the summer, but the 7-foot center left the Clippers to sign a three-year, $16.2 million contract with Minnesota. He is sidelined with tendinitis in both knees and he's averaging just 6.3points and 3.5 rebounds. "It concerns us because obviously center players' bodies are more injured than others," said Wolves owner Glen Taylor. "We were under the opinion that this was something that was correctable and fixable, and it was probably taken care of when he came here."

Olowokandi had a second arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in September and has recently complained of soreness in his right.... Keith Van Horn and Michael Doleac are hoping to watch Utah play tomorrow in the Preseason NIT at the Garden. Both Knicks played for Rick Majerus.

"I might go out to eat with him," Van Horn said. "I think he knows a few good restaurants."

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this has to be the day, i really believe he'll be back against the pistons
our waiting is finally over