It's always a concern when a 39-year-old player comes up with a bad back, especially when he's a guard who already had missed four games earlier in the season with the same injury. But Jason Kidd insists he will play tonight, and — as long as he and the Knicks use common sense — the problem won't be chronic or reoccurring.

Coach Mike Woodson also said Kidd will play. In fact, Woodson plans not only to play Kidd, but also to start him against Brandon Jennings and the Bucks.

"Hopefully [tonight]. I got some shots up, I'll go through shoot-around and see how I feel,'' said Kidd. "I could've [played], but we felt another day's rest could only help, especially going into a back-to-back. We'll be playing three [games] in four nights, [but] I won't be playing three in four nights, so that helps.''

After missing four games earlier this season with lower back spasms, Kidd sat out Wednesday's rout of the Magic with a sore lower back. But he didn't have any tests, just got treatment and insisted it was precautionary.

"The minutes are a concern,'' Kidd admitted. "Coach, we both want to win, so if he has to play me 30 [minutes] or if he has to play me 20, whatever it takes to win. We're coming to the All-Star break, so I'll get a couple days of rest. For the elite teams, after the All-Star break, we try to make that push to get your seeding and go from there.''

Raymond Felton's broken pinkie forced Kidd to log an average of 30.4 minutes per game going into last weekend, far more than the Knicks had planned. But he played just 15 minutes last Saturday in Philadelphia, and only five Sunday against the Hawks, sitting out the whole second half and telling Woodson he needed a break.