Knicks coach David Fizdale revealed on Wednesday that SG Tim Hardaway Jr. is dealing with plantar fasciitis, a dreaded chronic heel ailment that has been bothering his right foot.
Hardaway will return to the lineup Wednesday against the 76ers after missing Monday night's loss to the Suns. But Fizdale said the Knicks are going to have to evaluate their leading scorer one day at a time.
"Plantar fasciitis is nagging," Fizdale said, according to Newsday's Steve Popper. "Some days it aches so bad you can't move on it. Other days you can tolerate. He's trying to manage it.
"He's going to tell us. We're going to treat it. The more he can tolerate, that's how much that we'll go with it. When he can't take it anymore, that's when we'll give him rest. It's one of those injuries that is a real tender injury because you do everything with your heel. He's been battling for us. That's why I love him."
Hardaway is averaging 21 points per game this season but has struggled recently, seeing his shooting percentage drop to 39.5. Over the last 12 games, he has averaged 16.3 points.
Hardaway, who missed extended time last season with a leg injury, told Stefan Bondy of the Daily News that the heel concern emerged "two or three games ago."
"I've never had (plantar fasciitis) before, just heard a lot of things about it, that if you keep playing on it, it could get worse," Hardaway said. "So around this time last year I had an injury and I was out a month-and-a-half. Almost two months. So I just want to make sure that doesn't happen again."
Fizdale said the Knicks' $71 million man isn't looking to blame his struggles on the injury.
"I know he's been fighting through it a lot," Fizdale said. "I know he doesn't want that as an excuse. I don't want to put it out as it is an excuse. He's been fighting through it for a while now. I don't know if it's had any impact on his shooting or not."
Hardaway may be forced to fight through it for as long as he continues to play this season -- and perhaps longer.