New York, April 29 (CNA) New York Knicks star Jeremy Lin said Sunday that he was looking forward to returning to the court May 6 when his team hosts the Miami Heat in Game 4 of the first-round series of the 2012 NBA playoffs.
"I think I'm gonna evaluate it at the end of the week and see," said Lin after practicing with his Knicks teammates in Miami earlier in the day. "Hopefully I'll feel good by then."
Lin, who underwent surgery April 2 to repair a meniscus tear in his left knee, played one-on-one with Knicks assistant Kenny Atkinson the previous day, during which he cut and moved laterally for the first time since undergoing surgery.
Noting that something new has been getting added to his rehab training every day, Lin said he was happy with the progress of his recovery.
But he noted Sunday that he felt "soreness" in his left knee. After using cold packs to treat his knees, Lin said he would stay off them for the rest of the day and re-evaluate the situation the following day.
If all goes well, the 23-year-old point guard said, he is scheduled to take contact for the first time this week and hopes to be healthy and ready for Game 4 of the first-round playoff series at Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks trail Heat in the best-of-seven series 1-0 after an embarrassing 100-67 loss in Game 1 Saturday.
Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Sunday that Lin will have limited court time if he plays on May 6.
"After going through (surgery), he won't be in basketball shape," Woodson said. "My job is to gauge him ... and make sure he's giving us solid minutes within the short minutes that he plays."
Lin, the first American-born NBA player of Taiwanese descent, became a basketball phenomenon when he led the struggling Knicks on a seven-game winning streak in February.
Although he has been sidelined since March 24 due to his season-ending knee injury, his breakout from Knicks bench to global stardom, now dubbed Linsanity, is widely regarded as the most exciting part of the 2011-2012 NBA season.
According to NBA statistics released at the end of the regular season April 26, Lin cracked the league's traditional jersey sales rankings at No. 2, trailing just behind NBA Most Valuable Player Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls.
Despite the fact that Lin jerseys did not even hit the market until mid-February, while the sales ranking started back in April 2011, the Harvard economics graduate beat out the likes of Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and his own teammate Carmelo Anthony.
In February and March, when Linsanity was at its peak, Lin jerseys were the biggest sellers both on NBA.com and at the NBA Store in New York City, according to an ESPN report.
On April 18, Lin was selected by Time Magazine as one of its 100 most influential people in the world for 2012.
(By Leaf Chiang and Sofia Wu)