Rasheed Wallace Returns, Leaves Early With Sore Foot

Rasheed Wallace’s comeback lasted all of three minutes, 50 seconds Monday night.

Wallace played in his first game since Dec. 13 after undergoing surgery on his fractured left foot in February, but was forced to leave the Knicks’ 106-95 loss at Charlotte with soreness in the foot.

“We took him out, we’ll evaluate it [Tuesday] morning and just see where he is and how he feels and gauge it that way,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson told reporters in Charlotte. “That’s the only thing we can do. He tried and I thought he looked pretty good the short minutes he was out there. We’ll know more tomorrow.”

Asked if it was a setback, Woodson said: “No, I’m not saying it’s a setback but he was a little sore so he had to come out and I pulled him. So we’ll evaluate it a little more and see how he feels.”

Wallace did not speak to reporters, according to Newsday.

Already locked into the No. 2 seed in the East, the Knicks played just seven players, with rookie forward Chris Copeland going 12-for-25 for a career-high 32 points. Copeland appears to be forcing himself into the conversation for a spot in the postseason rotation.

Copeland and Steve Novak (6-for-9, 17 points) could well be competing for minutes beginning Saturday in the playoffs against the Celtics.

“I thought Cope offensively was great,” Woodson said. “He’s shown that he can score the basketball, which is kind of nice to see.”

Raymond Felton sat out the game, and Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith did not make the trip.

Tyson Chandler (neck) and Kenyon Martin (ankle) also did not trip to Charlotte, but Woodson previously said they would be ready for the playoffs.

“I think everybody will play¬†Wednesday [against Atlanta in the regular-season finale] and then we’ll start tuning up, getting ready for the Celtics series,” Woodson said.

Atlanta is battling Chicago for the fifth seed.

“If Melo and those guys want to sit out Wednesday, that’s on them as well but I’m thinking that they’ll probably play,” Woodson said.

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