Rasheed Wallace won't play tonight against the Nets and, quite frankly, if he doesn't accompany the team to Nassau Coliseum, he may not even watch since it's only a preseason game.

But the out-of-retirement power forward did take another step toward his eventual comeback when he was cleared to practice Tuesday, joining his teammates for all of the conditioning drills at the start of practice for the first time since signing with the Knicks on Oct. 3.

Coach Mike Woodson said he would consider inserting Wallace into a scrimmage possibly as early as Friday. After tonight's preseason finale, the Knicks will have seven days until the regular-season opener against the Nets on Nov. 1 in Brooklyn.

"It's up to Coach Woodson, it's not up to me," Wallace said. "He'll tell me when he's ready for me to come out there. Like I told him, I'm feeling good. It's on him."

Wallace, 38, last played for the Celtics in 2009-10. He's been held out of practices since joining the Knicks because of concerns over his conditioning.

"It's improved tremendously," Wallace said. "When I first came in, I was in good shape but it wasn't basketball shape and it's a difference. I could go out there and run a couple of miles. But now, getting in basketball shape, it's more sprint and stop, sprint and stop. Almost like a car, city driving: stop and go, stop and go. That's what I just have to get used to."

Which is why Wallace considers scrimmaging so important.

"I'm doing a lot of solo work, up and down the court, half-court things," Wallace said. "But once I know I get out there and take them elbows and take them shots across the head, it's a different type of conditioning."