A torn ACL ended Iman Shumpert's 2011-12 season early and since then, the New York Knicks have been hoping they can get their former first-round pick back to full strength at sometime during this upcoming season.
And it looks like that might just happen.
According to Marcus Henry of Newsday, Shump's rehab is going well and he should have no problem meeting the eight month timetable originally given for his return.
Since the injury happened in April, that would mean Shumpert should return by December. That couldn't be better news for the Knicks who faced the possibility of losing their star defender for much longer.
So what does Shump's presence in the lineup mean for the Knicks?
For starters, Shumpert is a great defender. The Georgia Tech product enjoyed great success as a perimeter defender last season and was tasked with shutting down the most talented opposing scorer on the floor.
Forget about calling Shump one of the best young defenders in the NBA, he was flat-out one of the best in the NBA regardless of age. That was evidenced by his top-10 finish in the steals per game category during his rookie campaign.
During the offseason, New York looked to temporarily replace Shump with the signing of Ronnie Brewer.
Much like Shump, Brewer is a long, talented perimeter defender who can shut down most great players in this league. Where Brewer lacks is on the offensive end where he isn't exactly known for his great skill.
Shump, on the other hand, gives the Knicks a nice balance of offense and defense and while Brewer's presence on the floor might hurt the Knicks offensively, Shump can still keep that great defense in the lineup while not forcing the Knicks to miss a beat offensively.
His game is still developing on the offensive end, but Shumpert has great potential to be a double threat.
If the Knicks want to compete for a title, they will need someone on the perimeter to shut down the top guards in the NBA. Shumpert is just the man for that job and it's great news for the Knicks that he'll be back on time.