The Knicks could be without Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, and Joakim Noah in Friday's preseason game against the Wizards.
The game will be the Knicks' final tune-up before the regular season opener on Oct. 19 against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Hornacek said Noah, who still has to finish out a suspension dating back to last season, would likely miss the game anyway -- even if he wasn't suffering from an illness.
"We've got three bigs here and he's not able to play the first 12 games," he said, according to Newsday. "So we want those guys to really get the reps right now," Hornacek said. "So even if [Noah] was healthy, I wouldn't have played him [on Friday]."
Hornacek indicated he might hold out Porzingis and Ntilikina because he wants to play it safe in the preseason.
"I don't know if either of them plays at this point," Hornacek said, according to Newsday. "I think when you start playing regular-season games, then you know the hope is guys know how to play when they're a little sore as long as they're not making it worse. I think in exhibition season, we're a little more cautious."
Ntilikina (knee) and Noah (illness) did not practice on Thurday, and Porzingis (hip) was limited in practice.