If there is a trademark J.J. Hickson look, it's a sweaty one. The Nuggets forward has built a career in the NBA through hard work, and he isn't about to let it slide now during the most important few months of his career.

Hickson is working his way back into form after having surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, the first surgery of any kind he has had in his six-year career.

He's aiming for a return before the start of the regular season, but it probably won't be at the start of training camp, he said.

Hickson will be ready at "some point" during training camp, he told The Denver Post on Monday.

"I'm not going to rush it," Hickson said. "As of right now, my knee feels great. My knee looks great. I'm ahead of schedule, so we'll see."

Hickson hasn't been cleared for most basketball activities, but he has been on the court to shoot free throws and short jump shots. For now, he's focusing on rehabbing his knee, which he injured March 21 in a game at Dallas.