Prior to yesterday’s 113-84 blowout victory over Utah, the Knicks announced that oft-injured forward Amar’e Stoudemire will be sidelined for the next 6-8 weeks with right knee problems. Before the season started, Stoudemire underwent a left knee debridement, dead tissue that needs to be removed, which caused him to miss the first two months of the season. Now, the same issue has arisen in his right knee and again he must be operated on.
Having overcome a plethora of injuries throughout his 11 year career, this is nothing new for Stoudemire. He’s worked hard during his tenure with the Knicks to overcome this kind of adversity and he will work hard again to get back in time to help contribute to the team’s playoff cause. Nonetheless, this injury is truly a tragic one for Stoudemire. The Knicks starting the year 18-5 with Carmelo Anthony at power forward made it near impossible for Stoudemire to return in January as a starter. The consumate team player, Stoudemire accepted his role as a 23 minute a game role player off the bench. A move of this ilk is not an easy one for an NBA superstar, of which Stoudemire certainly has been throughout his career. Look no further than the Pau Gasol situation with the Lakers this season as an example of how superstars usually react to a bench demotion. Not only did Stoudemire handle this move to the bench with professionalism and class, but he was having a bounce-back season. Behind a more refined offensive game, thanks to some summer tutelage from Hakeem Olajuwon, Stoudemire was scoring as efficiently as ever. Continue reading
Iman Shumpert is set to return today when the Knicks take on the Detroit Pistons in London, England. Coming off a brutal ACL injury, Shumpert’s level of athleticism is unknown. I’ve seen Adrian Peterson used as an example of how Shumpert could come back at the same level of athleticism, or even better, but there are countless examples of athletes who are never the same after such an injury. Either way, Shumpert’s return should provide a much needed boost to the defensively challenged Knicks. A top five defense a year ago, New York has had a plethora of problems on that end of the court this season.
We shouldn’t expect Iman Shumpert to come back and be a defensive savior. That is unfair to him as a second year player coming off a devastating injury. Nobody is expecting Shumpert’s return to launch the Knicks back into elite defensive prominence. Having said that, Shumpert is definitely an upgrade over a mediocre group of perimeter defenders, even if he’s not the athlete he was last season. I’m going to break down the areas in which Shumpert will help the team. Continue reading
Sigh… Coming off a strong pre-season performance against Toronto, there was optimism around Amar’e Stoudemire and his impact on these 2012-2013 Knicks. That optimism will be tested once more as Stoudemire will again miss time with yet another injury. It turns out than an MRI on Stoudemire’s “bruised knee” shows that the $100 million Knick has a ruptured popliteal cyst in his knee. Here is the 411 on a Baker’s cyst from MayoClinic.com:
A Baker’s cyst is a fluid-filled cyst that causes a bulge and a feeling of tightness behind your knee. The pain can get worse when you fully flex or extend your knee or when you’re active.
A Baker’s cyst, also called a popliteal (pop-LIT-e-ul) cyst, is usually the result of a problem with your knee joint, such as arthritis or a cartilage tear. Both conditions can cause your knee to produce too much fluid, which can lead to a Baker’s cyst.
Although a Baker’s cyst may cause swelling and make you uncomfortable, treating the probable underlying problem usually provides relief.
So this sounds pretty bad to me. The Knicks, being the honest, competent training staff that they are, say Stoudemire will be out 2-3 weeks. More realistically, I think we could see Stoudemire miss far more time than that, especially if he has a cartilage tear. Make no mistake, this is not a good thing for the Knicks. Continue reading
Much of the narrative regarding New York’s recent track record of underachievement has been centered around a lack of team chemistry. That narrative does have some merit to it, as this has been New York’s first conventional training camp with the trio of Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler all on the roster. Not only was this seen as a training camp in which the “broadway bigs” would have the opportunity to mesh together, but a camp where the Knicks as a team can mesh together as well. However, the Knicks have run into a plethora of injury problems. Amar’e Stoudemire has missed time and both pre-season games to date with a “bruised knee”. CAA favorite Chris Smith is now out for the season with a torn patella tendon. His brother, one JR Smith, now has some sort of unidentified ankle/achilles injury. Free agent steal Ronnie Brewer has yet to see action due to recovery from arthroscopic knee surgery. Marcus Camby has a calf strain and his return is unknown. For what it is worth, Henry Sims hurt his ankle in practice, but he is a longshot to make the team anyways. So yeah, that is a lot of injuries. Great thing the Knicks have Jason Kidd and all of his veteran presence. He’ll be able to fix all the Knicks problems. Wait, he’s old and he’s not good anymore so never mind. Continue reading
As everyone probably knows by know, Jeremy Lin sustained a small tear in his meniscus and is slated to be out approximately 6 weeks. Lin underwent successful surgery yesterday. Seeing as how some people may not understand the actual extent of the injury and what it actually is, I’ll explain it.
A meniscal tear is a tear in the cartilage, a slight one in Lin’s case, located between the top of the tibia and the bottom of the femur The meniscus is thinly covered by another layer of cartilage. The injury is usually caused by a twisting of the knee, which is exactly what happened to Lin during the game against the Pistons. Lin underwent knee arthroscopy, which is simply the removal of the damaged part of the meniscus. Arthroscopic surgery is done by inserting small instruments and a small camera into the knee joint through several small incisions, then examining and repairing the tissue. The surgery is done under general and local anesthesia and takes about one to two hours.
The Knicks have said that Lin will be back ready to play in about 6 weeks, which is a blessing because he could return during the playoffs. Lin’s return would probably come to fruition towards the end of the first series, unless the series is over fairly quickly. He should definitely be available for the 2nd round, which is very good news. If his injury was more severe, he could have been out for several months. Of course, this is all relative to New York actually making the playoffs and winning a playoff series.
Davis is returning from a tweaked hamstring. Personally, I’m not sure how much I like this. I don’t disagree that the Knicks need Davis out there. Mike Bibby’s corpse has been corpse-like and totally ineffective, but the Knicks need Davis in the long run. Hamstring injuries, like all leg injuries, are delicate. This is a huge game for the Knicks, but the long term health of their backup point guard is more important. We’ll see what happens tonight.
Good thing we have Jared Jeffries. With Harrellson out for 6 weeks, Jeffries will get a lot of run playing both center and power forward. I imagine that Jerome Jordan will be recalled from the D-league as well. Jordan scored 26 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in his first D-League game earlier this week.
Apart from Jordan’s call up, Harrellson’s injury may also open up a spot for either Renaldo Balkman or Steve Novak. I would like to see Novak get some more run because the Knicks have struggled to hit shots from beyond the arc this season. At 6’10 Novak is big enough to play a stretch 4 and I think he will get some run there. I like the energy Balkman brings but right now this team needs scoring and Novak can shoot the 3. Harrellson was one of the Knicks better 3 point shooters this season and losing him will be a big loss.
Alan Hahn of Newsday has reported that Chauncey Billups finally has been cleared for basketball workouts after suffering a strained knee ligament in game 1 of the playoffs versus the Celtics.
“Chauncey Billups, who suffered a bruised knee late in G1 vs BOS, was cleared this week to resume full workouts, Newsday has learned. #fb”
This is great news to hear in that Billups now has 7 weeks until training camp is scheduled to start. Obviously with the lockout, there is a good possibility that training camp will be wiped out but Billups will be ready to go if it remains. Now that Billups is seemingly healthy, the attention turns to Amar’e Stoudemire who still has not fully recovered from his back injury also suffered against Boston.
According to Newsday, Chauncey Billups is supposed to have a follow up MRI on his left knee later this week. Billups, diagnosed with a strained tendon over after game 1 of the playoffs, was reported to still be feeling the effects of his injury last week. His MRI should show whether additional damage has occurred. With the upcoming NBA lockout, Billups may have extra time to heal his knee. If further action is needed after the MRI, I believe it would be smart to act on it right now as opposed to waiting.