MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Chauncey Billups will "definitely" return to the New York Knicks lineup by Sunday, coach Mike D'Antoni said.
Billups, however, said "definitely" is too strong of a word.
Eight days after Billups sustained a deep thigh bruise in a collision with Dwight Howard, his status remained unchanged. He was expected to miss Wednesday night's game against the Memphis Grizzlies and sounded doubtful that he would play Thursday night at Dallas.
"We could have pushed him, but he'll have these two days, and we'll see tomorrow. Again, I don't know if he'll play or not, but then we play Sunday. So Sunday he's definitely going to play," D'Antoni said, putting emphasis on the word "definitely."
"These next couple days will be up in the air a little bit. But I just can't see him not playing Sunday."
That statement was a little too definitive for Billups, who had his left knee wrapped in heating pads and ace bandages Wednesday morning as the team prepared for its shootaround at FedEx Forum.
"I'm not going to definitely say anything, you know what I'm saying?" Billups said. "When I'm able to play, I will play. I will say that."
Billups said the injury was feeling much better, but he also disclosed that he had additional swelling behind his kneecap and had suffered somewhat of a setback during the past week by trying to push too hard in rehabbing the injury.
"It's just a deep one -- like the deepest muscle you can possible hit. That's the one that's messed up, and that's why it's taking too long," Billups said. "I know that when I do come back I'm probably not going to be 100 percent, and I'm happy with that, I'm fine with that. I just want to come back and be effective and help the team, and work myself back to being 100."
D'Antoni said Ronny Turiaf and Bill Walker, who each missed the previous two games with sore knees, would both be available to play against the Grizzlies.