Raymond Felton Believes He'll Return to Knicks on Saturday vs. 76ers

Ethan GrantAnalyst IJanuary 22, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 11:  Raymond Felton #2 of the New York Knicks in action during their game against the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center on December 11, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

After missing Raymond Felton since Christmas Day, the New York Knicks appear to be inching closer to getting their starting point guard back in uniform.

According to ESPN NY's Jared Zwerling, Felton is optimistic that he'll be able to return Saturday against the Philadelphia 76ers. Here's Felton's quote after Tuesday's Knicks practice:

Big chance, big chance, but I can't speak on that. That's not my decision to make...If it's up to me, I'd play in Boston, but they're not going to let me do it because there's a possible chance if I break it again, I'll be out two months because they're going to have to go in and have surgery on it. So it's tough.

According to the report, Felton participated in shooting drills and conditioning on Tuesday—with just a wrap on his pinkie finger. It's encouraging news for both the Knicks and Felton, since the team has missed his playmaking ability for about a month now.

Felton also noted that even though it's just his pinkie out of place, it's a tough injury to overcome:

Everybody looks at it as a little pinkie, all that, he shouldn't be out, but I fractured that pinkie in three places.

After starting 20-8, the Knicks are just 5-6 in Felton's absence, as Jason Kidd, Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith have all had to take on an increased role in the offense.

Knicks head coach Mike Woodson is extremely eager to get Felton back, as his quote suggests:

We missed (Felton) a lot...He's a big part of the puzzle. We didn't bring Kidd in to play 30-plus minutes a game. I know Jason's giving us all he can give us, and I'm wearing him down. I've got to get Raymond back eventually, but then, two, I've got to be open-minded about Raymond's finger.

Felton is averaging 15.8 points and 6.3 assists this season, and is also shooting 35.3 percent from behind the arc, while being the primary ball handler for Woodson in his second go-round with New York. 

Needless to say, the Knicks are eager to get back to form after their most recent skid, and Felton's re-insertion into the starting lineup will help do that. We'll continue to update his status as more information becomes available, but for now, consider Saturday as his expected return date.


Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for B/R's Breaking News Team. Check him out on Twitter.