CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -New York Knicks forward Renaldo Balkman has endured a rough training camp, mostly because he can't do much training with an injured ankle.
Sidelined for a month with a stress and cartilage injury in his right ankle, Balkman has watched from the sideline during camp at the College of Charleston this week.
``This is probably my first injury where I have had to sit out for a couple of weeks,'' said Balkman, a former South Carolina standout who has been limited mainly to shooting foul shots. During most of practice, he wears a protective boot on his ankle.
``I'm missing a lot right now. It's killing me. I'm ready to go out there right now and play,'' he said. ``But I've got to rest up so I can get back and get better.''
Balkman, a first-round draft pick in 2006, was a key sub for the Knicks last season, averaging slightly more than four rebounds and just under five points a game.
``He's a guy who brings a lot of energy to the game - brings the intangibles to the game,'' said Knicks coach Isiah Thomas. ``He's a defender - a good shot-blocker. So we're looking forward to getting him back.''
Thomas said Balkman had been working on his shooting and ball handling this summer before the injury.
Balkman played his college ball with the Gamecocks in Columbia, about 110 miles from Charleston. He made his first impression on New York during South Carolina's run in the NIT. He helped the Gamecocks to consecutive NIT titles on the Knicks' home floor at Madison Square Garden and was selected tournament MVP in 2006.
But he wasn't much appreciated when he first became a Knick. New York fans booed him when his name was called in the first round of the 2006 draft. However, he later became a fan favorite with his spirited play and drew comparisons to former NBA standout Dennis Rodman, known for his defensive prowess and flamboyant character on and off the court.
``I'm not like Dennis Rodman off the court,'' Balkman said, laughing. ``But on the court, I take it as a compliment that people say I was like him.''
Balkman injured his ankle playing basketball with some friends a few weeks ago in New York.
``I was playing defense and I couldn't slide to the right and it just didn't feel right,'' he said. ``It was bothering me, but I thought it was a sprained ankle and I was just going through the motions with the treatment and the icing. I just knew something was wrong.''
Besides missing camp, Balkman will miss the Knicks' first preseason game Monday against Philadelphia at the Colonial Center in Columbia, the Gamecocks' home floor.
Advertisement

Top NBA Public Bets

#2 849 Utah Jazz  73%
#4 841 Memphis Grizzlies  69%
#6 854 Chicago Bulls  63%
#7 858 Denver Nuggets  62%
#8 848 Atlanta Hawks  56%
#9 845 Boston Celtics  54%

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Warriors vs. Clippers Prediction Will the Warriors cover as double-digit home favorites versus the Clippers tonight when the two teams clash at 10:30PM ET?
Thumbnail Knicks vs. Cavs Prediction Will tonight's Knicks and Cavs matchup at 8:00PM ET be high-scoring for bettors?
Thumbnail Rockets vs. Pelicans Prediction Will tonight's Rockets and Pelicans matchup at 8:00PM ET fall under the betting total?
Thumbnail Hornets vs. Pistons Prediction The Pistons are listed as slight home favorites tonight versus the Hornets at 7:30PM ET. Will Detroit cover?
Thumbnail Struggling squads collide in Florida At 21-37, Orlando almost needs a miracle to claw back into postseason contention. Last Tuesday’s roster shakeup, though, verified that Frank Vogel’s crew isn’t...

NBA Team Pages