Wednesday’s exhilarating two-point victory for the Knicks was bittersweet as the team discovered the status for starting point guard Raymond Felton. Following the game in Phoenix, Felton spoke to reporters and announced that he will miss up to 4-6 weeks with a fractured right pinky.
“It felt like it, it was a lot of pain, more pain than my thumb, so I knew it was something more than that,” Felton explained.
On Thursday afternoon, Felton returned to New York to consult with a hand specialist. The consultation determined surgery will not be needed to repair the complex fracture, but Felton will need a splint to stabilize his finger.
Head coach Mike Woodson told the media Felton was unavailable prior to the matchup against the Suns and halftime X-rays revealed the final results. Felton has dealt with a myriad of injuries to his hand, which has impacted his play on the floor. Despite the constant battering he endured on a nightly basis, Felton has remained tough as nails but the final hit on his pinky in the loss to the Lakers will move him to the sidelines.
“I was hurt, angry, but it happens. It was a freak accident, so can’t be too upset, got to do what I go to do and get treatment and everything so I can get back,” Felton stated.
As a starter in all 28 of New York’s games, Felton leads the team in assists per game at 6.3 and second to Carmelo Anthony in points per game at 15.8. Future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd will shift to the point guard spot in place of Felton after mainly playing off the ball this season.
“I’ll play the 5 if I have to,” Kidd joked. “For me it’s just playing basketball. As a point guard, it’s about being able to get the ball to the right guys in the right places and there’s nothing different if I was playing the 2-guard, it’s just understanding what the defense is giving you and being able to knock down shots.”
Kidd is fresh off a season-high 23 points in the win over the Suns. The 39-year old shot 8-of-16 from the floor, hit 5-of-8 of his 3-point attempts, dished out eight assists, and grabbed six boards in 31 minutes. He also made two heady plays by deflecting a Sebastian Telfair pass with the game tied at 97-97 to eventually give the Knicks a chance with one second on the clock and a perfect bounce pass to J.R. Smith for the game-winner.
Woodson provided his thoughts on the injury to Felton, “Injuries occur, key guys get banged up here and there and we got enough guys on our team. Guys just have to step up and play until guys get back. That’s how it’s got to be.”
Anthony is one of the injured members of the team with a hyper extended left leg and his status is unclear for Friday’s game in Sacramento. Rasheed Wallace is out with a foot injury, Amar’e Stoudemire is eyeing a potential return near New Year’s Day, and Iman Shumpert is close to game action as well.
The Knicks conclude their three-game road trip against the Kings tomorrow night at 10 PM on MSG Networks.