Knicks bring Bender back to NBA

December 14, 2009

The Knicks have signed free agent Jonathan Bender, marking the oft-injured forward's return to the NBA after a three-year absence.

The 7-foot Bender, selected out of high school by Toronto with the fifth overall pick in the 1999 draft but traded to Indiana the same day, enjoyed his best season in 2001-02, when he averaged career highs of 7.4 points and 3.1 rebounds in 78 games for the Pacers. But injuries forced Bender, 28, to miss 172 games in the next three seasons before chronic knee pain sidelined him indefinitely in February 2006.

"Jonathan has worked extremely hard in preparing himself for a return," Knicks president Donnie Walsh said.

•Coach Kiki Vandeweghe said the Nets are awaiting results of an MRI on Chris Douglas-Roberts' left knee. Vandeweghe wasn't sure how Douglas-Roberts, who scored seven points in a 107-91 loss Friday at Indiana, was injured.


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