New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin says he was erring on the side of caution by not rushing back into the NBA playoffs so he could give his surgically repaired knee more time to heal.
"They said I need to be able to just trust the knee and right now there's some tightness and soreness and I need to get that out obviously before I can be 100 percent," Lin told the New York Daily News on Wednesday. "That's what we're doing, a lot of manual stuff, get everything out, all the stuff that doesn't need to be there -- just trying to make it pain-free."
Lin had been training with the Knicks as they faced the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs this week but he ruled out a return for Wednesday's game five. Miami defeated the Knicks 106-94 to win the Eastern Conference series four games to one.
Lin tried to speed up his recovery, but said he still feels some stiffness and pain in the knee.
"What was it, like two days ago, I tried to take off, tried to plant, just go full speed at 100 percent," Lin said Wednesday morning. "It just didn't feel right. It felt pain when I tried to take off. I thought it would go away over time."
Lin underwent surgery just over a month ago to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.
Lin, an American whose parents are from Taiwan, became a global sensation as the first American of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA when he was plucked from the bench in February due to injuries to Knicks stars.
The Harvard graduate had been cut by two other teams and was days away from seeing his NBA dreams end before the Knicks gave him a look.
With drives to the basket, pinpoint passes and top shooting efforts even in the final seconds, Lin sparked a seven-game win streak for the Knicks and built a following known as "Linsanity" that kept him in the lineup long after the streak ended and the other Knicks stars returned.