Apr 15, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert (21) drives the ball as Miami Heat small forward Shane Battier (31) follows during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Miami won 93-85. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Iman Shumpert cleared, could make debut in London

New York Knicks fans have been waiting for Iman Shumpert to return to the court for a long time now.

Apr 28, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert (21) is carried off the court during the second half of game one in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against he Miami Heat of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

It looks as if that wait is about to come to an end.

Shumpert has been cleared by the Knicks medical staff, after tearing his ACL in Game 1 of the Knicks first-round playoff loss against the Miami Heat last season, and it looks like he could make his season debut Thursday against the Detroit Pistons when the Knicks travel to London.

“He’s been cleared,” Knicks’ head coach Mike Woodson told ESPN’s Jared Zwerling after Saturday’s practice at the team’s training facility. “He’ll practice on Monday and if we get the two practices in — for sure one in London and there’s no setback — he’ll be cleared probably to play in the Detroit game.”

Shumpert will practice this week and will pretty much have to learn on the fly to get up to speed, but Woodson did say that when he does play, Woodson said he will be capped to “limited minutes medical-wise.”

His return will help the Knicks slumping perimeter defense, which has been nothing short of awful as of late.

It also gets the Knicks one step closer to having their projected starting backcourt healthy as point guard Raymond Felton could return by the end of the month as well.

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