The New York Knicks suffered a blow at an inopportune time. The really is never an opportune time for an injury, but Tyson Chandler's knee injury last night comes just a week before the regular season starts - and injuries in meaningless preseason games are difficult to swallow. Chandler had to leave last night's game against the Brooklyn Nets and returned to the bench on crutches.
According to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, Chandler and the Knicks do not know if he will be able to play in the season opener. Isola says the injury is particularly bad for the Knicks because of the other injuries the team has sustained. Amare Stoudemire has been out with a knee injury of his own, Marcus Camby has missed the entire preseason, and J.R. Smith has missed the past four games. Chandler will undergo an MRI and hope for the best.
"I stretched my knee out a little and it was awkward," Chandler said. "I'm taking precautions until I get an MRI so I will be on crutches. I do not want it to get worse. They tell me to stay off my knee until I get an MRI."Chandler is in his second season with the New York Knicks. Last year, he averaged close to a double-double. He has 11.3 points per game and 9.9 rebounds. He provided a secondary low-post presence to the versatile Amare Stoudemire. In his career, spanning 11 seasons, Chandler has averaged 8.6 points per game and 8.9 rebounds per game.
The Knicks will need Chandler healthy if they are going to make another run to the playoffs. Last year, they had Jeremy Lin step in and provide a spark. Lin is gone, though. They need their core to play as best they can. And they need to be healthy.