By Moke Hamilton, SNY.tv
NEW YORK — On Wednesday night, the Knicks got back Carmelo Anthony but may have lost Iman Shumpert—again.
Anthony made a rather triumphant return to the Knicks lineup, scoring an efficient 21 points on 7-of-14 shooting, and helped the Knicks secure a much needed 106-94 victory over the Orlando Magic.
But Shumpert was not around in the second half to see the victory through.
After making his 28th consecutive start since his eight month basketball hiatus following an ACL injury, Shumpert was held out of the second half after playing 14 minutes over the game’s first two quarters. Afterward, he told the media that he felt a slight pop in his knee.
From all accounts, though, the incident does not seem terribly serious and Shumpert said that the worst part of the incident was his nerves.
“I took a step to explode and go up to the rim and I felt it pop,” Shumpert said. “Last time I felt it pop, I was out eight months. I was nervous and more scared than anything.”
Afterward, Shumpert told SNY.tv that he felt “fine,” that he “was good,” and that he did not expect tomorrow’s diagnosis to reveal anything serious.
“[The doctors] said if they needed me, I would go back out but they didn’t need me, so I rested,” he added. “While I was sitting on the bench, I felt fine. I was more scared than anything. Hopefully, [the evaluation] all goes well tomorrow.”
Shumpert also added that the Knicks team doctors said that the pop he felt was likely scar tissue and that he should be fine.
Even still, any news related to Shumpert and a pop in his surgically repaired knee is scary. The Knicks need him at they look to claim their first division title since 1994.
Over the past few games, Shumpert has looked to be regaining some of the athleticism and explosiveness that made Knicks fans fall in love with him last season, so the setback is disconcerting.
After the victory, coach Mike Woodson made comments that were consistent with the non-serious prognosis.
“It’s a part of sports, it happens,” Woodson said. “Shumpert could have played. He will be okay and has already been evaluated. We wanted to be cautious with him and sit him down.”
For Knicks fans, the news is probably most troublesome because of the reputation the team has earned this season for not being forthcoming with injuries diagnoses. Most notably, Rasheed Wallace, Amar’e Stoudemire and, most recently, Carmelo Anthony, have been diagnosed with strange injuries and have been held out of action for longer than initially expected.
Of the three, Anthony has most recently returned after missing just three games, but Wallace and Stoudemire are both out for the duration of the regular season—at least.
Shumpert left the Knicks locker room under his own power and did not seem to favor his surgically repaired knee or be in any other discernible discomfort.
That’s good news for Knicks fans, the last thing this team needs is another member of its rotation on an extended injury leave, particularly one who jokingly pointed out after the contest that he is just 22-years old and is too young to be worried about injury issues.