GREENBURGH, N.Y. — The injury news for the Knicks has been progressively getting better the past week and that did not change after practice on Monday afternoon.
Tyson Chandler, out with a bulging disc in his back, returned to practice on a limited basis for the Knicks and is questionable for the game on Tuesday against the Boston Celtics.
Although the news still gives the impression that he may continue to miss games, the improvement from not practicing to giving it a go, even on a limited basis, is encouraging for Chandler and Coach Mike Woodson.
After practice, Coach Woodson talked about where Chandler stood in his recovery. “No running, but he shot a little bit, so those are his first steps and that’s good. It’s not like he will be labored in terms of being able to run. So, if he says he is ready to go and his neck feels fine then he’ll play.”
The Knicks originally said last Monday that injury would keep Chandler out a week which means he would be ready by Tuesday to play if that diagnoses held true.
When Chandler spoke to the media, he expressed that he wants to return to the team as soon as he can but also wants to be cautious so doesn’t get injured again.
“It’s kind of a thing where all of me wants to be out there, obviously, with my teammates. But then again, I’ve got to be smart for my teammates at the same time,” Chandler said.
Without Chandler, the Knicks, led by the strong play of Kenyon Martin filling it for Chandler at the Center position have gone 4-2, won four in a row and in the last five games kept opponents under 95 points.
Chandler participated in some shooting drills in a toned down practice before the Knicks head to Boston and still felt some pain in his neck.
“I need to not go into a spasm whenever I’m in a vulnerable position, whether I’m reaching to block a shot or in a defensive stance. Right now, it’s still a little sore,” Chandler said. “Hopefully, I’ll go through shoot around [Tuesday] and see from there.”
The Knicks know that having Chandler healthy and ready to go for the playoffs is going to be important for them if they want to go as far as they hope.
Chandler understands this is important as well and does not want any setbacks that could put the team in a bind come playoff time.
“I’m not worried about just a little pain. It’s more so I don’t want to be back in a predicament where I come back and then I’m out for a week or so,” Chandler said. “When I’m back I want to be back.”
The Knicks hope that he is back as soon as possible. But, for now the waiting game continues as the team hope to finally be closer to being 100% healthy.