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Tyreke Aims for Sunday Return

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Filed under Big Post, From the Practice Facility, Hoops, Practice Coverage.

Tyreke Aims for Sunday Return

Find out how Evans has progressed in his recovery from injury. Plus, Coach Smart and Cousins dish on the big man’s recent workouts and status for Friday’s game vs. N.Y.

- After missing 10 of the last 14 contests with a left knee injury, Kings guard Tyreke Evans says the pain has largely subsided and he hopes return to game action on Dec. 30 vs. Boston.

“I feel much better,” he said. “I had a good workout today. I ran on the treadmill.

“Before, (my knee) was weak. I took a couple of days off and felt like it got stronger, so that’s a good sign.”

No. 13 disclosed he’d likely seek a second opinion from an L.A. specialist if he continues to experience discomfort following his first game back.

“(Kings Director of Sports Medicine) Pete (Youngman) said it’s a bruised bone,” said Evans. “I just want to make sure when I play, it (doesn’t) swell up and (I’d) have to sit out again.”

Although the Memphis product hasn’t been able participate in a full practice since re-aggravating the injury on Dec. 16 – revealing he’s mainly worked on shooting and one-dribble pull-up jumpshots – he believes he’s ready to make an immediate impact.

“I feel good to go,” he said.

“I was playing (well before the injury). Hopefully, when I come back, I can pick it up and play the same way.”

- Head Coach Keith Smart was noncommittal on the status of center DeMarcus Cousins – who’s sat out the last two games – for Friday’s matchup against the Knicks.

“A decision’s made,” said the Kings leader. “I won’t share it right now.”

Smart said timing and conditioning were instrumental in his decision to instruct No. 15 to train in Sacramento during the team’s trip to Portland.

“I said, ‘I want you to get in the gym and work (during the) next two days,” said Smart of his conversation with Cousins on Dec. 24. “’I want you to get with our coach who’s going to be back here in town and work out with him,’ and he said, ‘OK.’”

The Kentucky product says he’s followed his head coach’s instructions while aspiring to stay positive.

“I’ve been here working out with (Special Assistant) Ross (McMains), trying to keep my conditioning up and just trying to be ready,” said No. 15.

Smart has been pleased to see the big man spend additional time at the practice facility before and after practices.

“I had him (work out) with a player development coach yesterday afternoon, then he came back last night and worked, then he came here early morning and worked again,” said the Kings leader.

“I wanted to get him back around the team, start practicing again around the team and we accomplished that today,” added Smart. “Now, we’ll move forward getting him ready for our next basketball game.”

And One

Catch Jimmer Fredette and the Kings take on Jason Kidd and the Knicks at Sleep Train Arena on Friday at 7 p.m. To get tix, Click Here.

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