Mike D’Antoni acknowledged Baron Davis was too sore to practice on Monday, and believes his Knicks debut may not take place until as late as “next week.’’

“We all wanted things earlier,’’ D’Antoni admitted. “But we want when he comes back he could stay back and not risk the in-and-out and all that stuff.’’

Davis, who has not played this season because of a back injury, is expected to return to practice today. During the condensed lockout schedule, practice time is at a premium, which is why D’Antoni wanted to ease Davis in during games to remove the rust. But Davis has wanted no part of that.

The Knicks had envisioned Davis returning last Saturday in Houston. But he hasn’t looked strong in scrimmages, D’Antoni said he hasn’t had “enough pop’’ and Davis needs recovery time from scrimmages.