New York Knicks’ center Joakim Noah participated in a full practice on Sunday after missing his team’s first two preseason games with a hamstring injury, according to Ian Begley of ESPN.
Injuries are nothing new for Noah, however.
The 31-year-old played in only 29 games for the Chicago Bulls last season due to a shoulder injury that forced him to undergo surgery, and in 2014-2015, he missed 15 contests while battling knee issues. Noah underwent knee surgery during the 2014 offseason and things have kind of unraveled for the two-time All-Star ever since.
Prior to going under the knife that summer, the veteran big man was coming off a 2013-2014 campaign in which he captured league’s Defensive Player of the Year and was actually a candidate for Most Valuable Player as well. Noah averaged career-highs in points (12.6), rebounds (11.3) and assists (5.4) per game that season.
However, his numbers have declined drastically over the past two years.
Last season, Noah came off the bench for the Bulls before undergoing shoulder surgery and averaged 4.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. He shot just 38.3 percent from the floor and averaged .079 win shares per 48 minutes, both career-lows by an extremely wide margin.
For reference, his career-lows in field-goal percentage and win shares per 48 minutes prior to 2015-2016 were 44.5 percent (2014-2-15) and .120 (during his rookie campaign in 2007-2008), respectively.
The Knicks signed Noah to a four-year, $72 million deal this summer with the hope that he can get healthy and regain his 2014 form. Given his aforementioned injury history and the fact that he has already been forced to miss some time, that is a tall order.
New York’s next preseason game is on Monday night at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time as they host the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden. Barring any setbacks, Noah looks like he should be in line to take the floor for the Knicks.