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Arron Afflalo Nearing Return to Knicks

William Hauser/USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks shooting guard Arron Afflalo is hoping to return to the lineup from a strained hamstring either next Tuesday or Wednesday, according to Ian Begley of ESPN New York. The Knicks play in Toronto on Tuesday and at Charlotte on Wednesday after a date with the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.

Afflalo battled a hamstring injury early in the preseason and then got hurt again when he returned to the floor. He hasn’t played a single regular-season game yet in order to make sure he gets back to 100 percent so it’s not a nagging issue.

With Afflalo out, Knicks head coach Derek Fisher has been starting Jose Calderon and Sasha Vujacic together in the backcourt, and the veteran pairing hasn’t gotten the job done. Things were especially bad in Friday night’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, when the duo scored just two points and combined for a -24 in the box score.

There have been calls for rookie Jerian Grant to move to the starting lineup, but the hope is the return of Afflalo will help make Calderon (assuming he remains in the starting lineup) and the starting unit more effective. This would allow the young, energetic bench pairing of Grant and Langston Galloway to continue to come off the bench and make a positive impact. The Knicks have outscored opponents by over 14 points per 100 possessions when the two youngsters share the court, per NBA.com.

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