Coach Mike Woodson has ruled out defensive forward Rasheed Wallace for tonight's home game against San Antonio and Saturday's contest in Orlando. That means Wallace's chronic sore left foot will have cost the Knicks 11 straight games.

Wallace's $1.4 million veteran minimum's contract won't be guaranteed in full until Jan. 9. The Knicks are willing to roll the dice that Wallace will play more than he sits across the final months and have no plans on waiving him.

The Knicks said the 38-year-old Wallace has a stress reaction in his foot and not a fracture. However, a stress reaction can turn into a fracture without proper rest. A stress fracture would put Wallace out two months.

In Sacramento Friday, Woodson predicted Wallace might return on New Year's.

The Knicks defense has slid without Wallace's length and smarts off the bench. J.R. Smith said after the latest loss to Portland Tuesday defensive communication is lacking — Wallace's specialty.

"You miss him a lot,'' Woodson said when asked about his verbosity. "One of the reasons bringing him to New York, I know he brings that to the table. It's contagious. When you have one or two guys talking all the time, you do miss him.''