Knicks coach: Jeremy Lin unlikely for Game 5 v.s. Heat‎

Knicks Heat Basketball

New York Knicks' Jeremy Lin stands for the national anthem before an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat in the first round of the Eastern Con

New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Monday he is not counting on Jeremy Lin to return Wednesday in Game 5 of the best-of-seven series against Miami Heat as the team tries to avoid elimination from the NBA playoffs.

“I’m not counting on Jeremy Lin to play,” Woodson told reporters a day after New York beat the Heat 89-87. “It’s going to be up to the doctors and Jeremy to make that decision. It won’t be my decision. I guess we’ll gauge it as we go along.”

New York trails 3- 1 in the series.

Lin, the second-year player out of Harvard University who made a surprise rise to the team’s starting point-guard role in February, last played on March 24 and had surgery in early April to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.

The absence of practice time has made it difficult for Woodson to assess Lin’s readiness to return to game action, and the coach said he’d never tell someone to play before he was able.

“I can’t be that selfish and say, ‘Son, put on a uniform and play,’” Woodson said.

Knicks also lose point guard Baron Davis to his own knee injury. Davis dislocated his knee cap in Sunday’s win, probably ending his postseason.

Amar’e Stoudemire returned to New York’s lineup Sunday after cutting his hand while punching a fire-extinguisher case in frustration following Game 2. The forward-center scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.