Knicks rookie Cleanthony Early will have surgery to remove a loose fragment in his right knee. It is unclear how early soon he will return, but the forward out of Wichita State will miss at least a month, after which he will be re-evaluated. Cleanthony has played sparingly out of the gate, so his absence will clear a few— but not enough— minutes for Andrea Bargnani, who is expected to return soon.
You can read the interview I did with Early a couple weeks after the Knicks drafted him, HERE
Last night, Andrea Bargnani took off from a few steps inside the free throw line and attempted to posterize two 76ers at once. It wasn’t pretty.
Today, the Knicks announced that an MRI revealed a torn left elbow ligament for Bargnani, and the team says that he is out indefinitely. There are many people who believe that the Knicks are better when Bargnani is on the bench, so this might not be all that bad for New York. However, this injury leaves the Knicks incredibly thin in a frontcourt that has already been missing Amar’e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin. Cole Aldrich never plays, so unless the Knicks release him for a new big man or give him some minutes, Jeremy Tyler is the only true big man the Knicks have right now, aside from Tyson Chandler.
This could be a blessing in disguise, or it could add to the team’s struggles.
Amar’e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin are each expected to miss two weeks. The Knicks are now extremely thin in the frontcourt, and, as we all know, just because the Knicks only expect two players to be out for two weeks does not mean that they will only end up missing two weeks. Mike Woodson has said that Cole Aldrich and Jeremy Tyler will need to play more with those two guys out.
But how about Andrew Bynum? The former Lakers star is a free agent and looking for work. He has his flaws, but the Knicks are in no position to be picky, and it is certainly conceivable that they would cut somebody like Aldrich for Bynum.
Would you like to see Bynum join the Knicks? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
– Amar’e Stoudemire has been cleared to practice. He hopes to play in the season opener.
– Kenyon Martin is still rehabbing the ankle injury he suffered last season and his status for the opener remains uncertain, as the Knicks would like to handle him carefully so that he can contribute long-term.
– Iman Shumpert is not practicing today, but doctors examined his arm and found nothing major. It is believed that he will be fine with a few days of rest.
– Raymond Felton pulled his hamstring, and is not practicing today. However, he says that he would play if it were a regular season game.
– Metta World Peace is back in practice.
– JR Smith is making progress in his rehab from his knee injury, but will still miss at least the first five games due to his suspension for recreational drug use.
In the least surprising breaking story of all time, JR Smith has been suspended for failing THREE drug tests for recreational substances such as Marijuana. Smith’s was already in danger of missing the first few weeks of the season with a knee injury. His suspension will begin the first game he is physically able to play, so if he is ready to come back 2 weeks after opening day, he will have to wait an extra 5 games after that.
The Knicks recently gave Smith a new contract, and he has wasted no time in showing why the Knicks were able to get such a bargain on the mercurial Smith. One person who is not happy? The fictional Mike Woodson twitter account
This is another frustrating off-court setback for J.R, who has had disciplinary issues through his career.
Knicks PF Jeremy Tyler was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his foot Thursday and will be out for 8-10 weeks, meaning he will miss all of training camp and at least the first week of the regular season. This is a minor blow for the team (which needs frontcourt depth) and a big blow for Tyler (who needs minutes). For Knicks fans, it is yet another frustrating injury. Eternal cynic Frank Isola put it best:
This injury could lead to Tyler’s release, or at least open it up for consideration. The foot fracture may have been a driving reason behind the Knicks’ decision to invite PG Toure Murry to training camp today . If Tyler is on his way out, it opens up a roster spot for Murry (and leaves the Knicks with another spot to give to a big man).
I still expect Tyler to make the team, but the competition is about to ramp up a bit.