J.R. Smith will be in New York for the next four years, but he won’t be training with the team for the next four months.
The Knicks made the surprise announcement Monday night that Smith needs surgery on a torn lateral meniscus and on the patellar tendon in his left knee. The estimated recovery is three to four months.
The timetable for recovery means he’ll miss training camp and likely at least the start of preseason, which begins in October.
The Knicks were reportedly aware of the knee injury at the end of the 2012-13 season, and knew it could require offseason surgery.
But there was no public mention of the injury by the often secretive franchise.
Smith signed a four-year, $24.7 million contract with the team last week. There was no mention of the injury in the team’s official press release.
“Re-signing J.R. was one of our primary goals this offseason, and we are thrilled to have him back,” general manager Glen Grunwald said in a statement. “He made great strides this past season with his consistent play off the bench for us, and we look forward to his continued growth.”
Smith won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award last season. He averaged a career-high 18.1 points per game and played in 80 games. He did struggle down the stretch in the postseason though. He shot just 33.1 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from 3-point range while scoring 14.3 points per game.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.