New York Knicks power forward Andrea Bargnani still hasn’t recuperated

Andrea Bargnani must show some pearls in Manhattan.

New York Knicks power forward Andrea Bargnani said Monday he hasn’t fully recovered from a summertime bout with pneumonia.

The 27-year-old Bargnani was declared unfit to participate in the Eurobasket tournament weeks after being acquired on July 10 in a trade with the Toronto Raptors.

Taken first overall by Toronto in 2006, the 7-foot, 256 pound Bargnani averaged 15.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 0.9 blocks over 433 games as a Raptor.

Brittle and possibly lacking testicular fortitude, the passive Italian has a lot to prove as an employee at The World’s Most Famous Arena and the Knicks need a healthy and rested version of Bargnani.

Considering Amar’e Stoudemire recently underwent his third knee surgery in the span of a year, Bargnani’s importance to the Knicks has dramatically increased.

Bargnani will battle Stoudemire, Kenyon Martin and Metta World Peace in training camp to earn the starting job at the four position.

Going 54-28 and advancing to the Eastern Conference semifinals, the Knicks certainly had an impressive 2012-2013 campaign.

Still, it’s now impossible to claim that New York is better than the Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls or Indiana Pacers.

Unless Andrea Bargnani matures into a consistent force on the hardwood, the Knicks are destined to disappoint in Gotham this winter.

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