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Lin feels good, but doubts return for 1st round

AP Photo NY157, NY156, MSG111

%reldate(2012-04-08T18:31:16

Updates with details. With AP Photos.

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NEW YORK (AP) — Knicks guard Jeremy Lin said Sunday he feels "pretty good" after knee surgery but doesn't think he could make it back for the first round of the playoffs.

"I think unless something goes really well, I wouldn't get there," Lin said before the Knicks played the Chicago Bulls.

Lin had surgery Monday to repair torn cartilage in his left knee. The Knicks have said the expected recovery time is about six weeks.

The playoffs begin April 28. The Knicks, also playing without the injured Amare Stoudemire, went into Sunday's game holding the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference. Lin won't rule out a return if the Knicks can advance in the postseason.

"It depends on how far and how long it goes," Lin said. "But obviously I want to get to 100 percent and then come back, hopefully see what I can do. By then it'll be a different team identity, chemistry, so it gets tricky, too. Yeah, I'm doing everything, we're doing everything we can to get back as soon as possible."

The point guard said he is working out on a bike and hopes to start running late next week.

Lin became the Knicks' starter in February after he hardly seeing playing time. The undrafted Harvard product had a heavy workload in a compressed season, which may have contributed to his injury.

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"I still may have gotten hurt. That's hard to say," Lin said. "I mean, I think obviously a condensed schedule can be harder on people's bodies. I don't know if that was the exact cause. I don't know if I would have still gotten hurt if it was a normal season. That's kind of hard to guess."

Lin said doctors found no more damage during the surgery, which he called minor. But he also said there's no indication he's ahead of schedule, only that everything is normal so far.

Lin said he's already begun talking with trainers he works out with in the offseason about strengthening his legs, but hopes to play before then. He said the Knicks' success without him has helped him cope with the injury that cut short his breakthrough season.

"Emotionally, yeah, it helps," he said. "What they did in Orlando (a victory Thursday) was awesome. I think that always helps, when things are going well and the vibe of the team is positive and energetic."

AP-WF-04-08-12 1831GMT

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