Friday Practice Report

Jonah Ballow


During a training camp and preseason filled with nagging injuries, the Knicks received some positive news on Thursday involving Tyson Chandler.   After the center fell to the floor in the first minute of action in Long Island on Wednesday night, there was some initial fear that he suffered a serious knee injury.  However, Thursday’s MRI revealed a bone bruise on the left knee and he is listed as day-to-day.

On Friday, Chandler greeted the media at MSG Training Center with a smile, “I’m hoping that I can get back on the floor by Monday.  Just have to take it easy over the next couple of days, allow it to calm down a little bit.”

He also had a definitive statement regarding his availability for the game against Brooklyn on November 1. 

“Yes, absolutely,” Chandler said about being ready for the Nets on opening night.

The reigning Defensive Player of the Year ditched the crutches today, which provided a big sigh of relief for a New York squad that will miss Amar’e Stoudemire for the next 2-3 weeks.  Stoudemire is sidelined with a ruptured cyst behind his left knee. 

“The severity of it wasn’t as bad as we thought, so that’s a good thing,” head coach Mike Woodson reacted to Chandler’s MRI results. 

In other injury news, J.R. Smith practiced today as he continues to recover from a sore left ankle.  Smith played in the first preseason contest for the Knicks in Washington but was held out for the final five outings.  Woodson said he looked good and took contact throughout the training session.

Rasheed Wallace also participated in Thursday’s practice and Woodson is looking forward to seeing the big man run the floor in scrimmages this weekend.  While Chandler should return soon, Wallace adds depth to the frontline, especially with Marcus Camby working his way back to practice.

Woodson is focused on the players at his disposal, “The guys that are in uniform and if this is what we got until guys get back, they have to step up and play.  I’m not expecting them to do anything different.  You can’t go hide, it’s time to start our season and we have a few more days to prepare for our opener in Brooklyn.”

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