New York, NY (Sports Network) - The New York Knicks signed free agent forward Jonathan Bender to a contract on Sunday.
Bender returns to the league after a lengthy absence while battling chronic knee pain.
"Jonathan has worked extremely hard in preparing himself for a return to the NBA," said Donnie Walsh, New York president of basketball operations. "I know him to be a young man of the highest character from my relationship with him that dates back 10 years to his rookie year and I think he will be a fine addition to our team both on and off the court."
The 7-foot, 230-pound Bender hasn't appeared in a game since November 5, 2005 against Philadelphia as a member of the Pacers.
Originally taken fifth overall by Toronto in the 1999 draft, Bender has averaged 5.6 points and 2.2 rebounds in 237 games, all with Indiana.