Lin To Undergo Knee Surgery This Week, Season Looks To Be Over

Published on: 1st April, 2012

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New York – The Jeremy Lin era is over. For now, anyway.

With the announcement before tonight’s Knicks-Cavs game that the point guard will be undergoing surgery on his injured left knee sometime next week, the Knicks have lost their main catalyst and the unassuming author of Linsanity, the phenomenon that took the world by storm when he was inserted into the starting lineup on February 4th.

This morning, at the Knicks shootaround, Lin determined he would be unable to play with the restrictions the injury, a torn meniscus, put on the knee.

The injury was confirmed after an MRI was taken, according to Knicks spokesman, Jonathan Supranowitz.

Lin spoke before tonight’s game.

“I was unable to cut or jump,” he said. “I felt I’d be unable to help the team.”

Knicks coach Mike Woodson was reflective about the reality of losing his starting point guard.

“Lin is a big piece of the puzzle,” said Woodson. “It’s a big blow but it’s not a career-ending injury. Jeremy, as our point guard brings a lot to the table. We’ll miss what he brings.”

The prognosis, after the surgery is performed, is for approximately six weeks of rest and rehabilitation.

Woodson certainly hopes he can use Lin in six weeks since that means his team would have made it past the first round of the playoffs (against either the Bulls or Miami Heat) but he also is a realist.

“They (the players) do understand the reality of it all,” he said. “Somebody else has to step up and play.”

Tonight, Baron Davis started the game at the point and in 29 minutes scored six points to go along with five assists. He only shot the ball six times, hitting on two.  Davis himself, is suffering from chronic back pain and now, a tender hamstring so Woodson is being very careful with his minutes.

“I thought Baron was pretty solid tonight,´ said Woodson. “Toney (Douglas) also gave us some positive minutes.  We can’t give Baron a heavy work-load, he’s banged up. We have to get through tonight. We’ll have  days off next week to rehab and re-group.”

The Knicks have played eight games in the last 12 days, a pace that would stress any team, particularly when injuries to key players have occurred.

Lin’s loss, added on to the injuries to Amar’e Stoudemire and Jared Jeffries, have hamstrung the Knicks team depth.

“The last two games we really have looked sluggish,” Woodson said.  “It could be fatigue.

Lin had experienced initial pain in his knee during the Detroit Pistons game at home on March 24th. The Knicks training staff opted at that time to give the knee five to seven days for the swelling to decrease and for Lin to receive daily treatment before re-evaluating the condition and his ability to play with the injury.

“We tested it yesterday and today,” said Lin. “It felt worse today than it did last week.”

Lin’s teammates were all supportive of their fallen point guard’s fate.

“It is tough,” said Carmelo Anthony. ”I didn’t know until today. For him to be out for six weeks and to have to have surgery…we want him to take care of that. This basketball stuff comes second.”

Tyson Chandler is always a positive force in the Knicks locker room.

“You feel for your teammate,” said Chandler. “No one wants to see anyone go through surgery, especially a young player like Jeremy. He was playing so well. We have to keep the boat floating until we get him back.”

The Knicks will be depending on increased production from not only the point guard tandem of Davis, Douglas, and possibly, Mike Bibby but they will be asking players like J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert,  and Steve Novak to step up their scoring.

Woodson is looking for Smith, in particular to become a more consistent part of the team’s offense.

“We need J.R. to play like he did tonight,” Woodson said. “For him to play like that, it gives us a boost especially coming off the bench.”

Chandler agreed with his coach.

“Smith (20 points on 8 of 15 shooting) had an incredible game,” said Chandler. “He shot a high percentage, got a lot of rebounds (9), and had five steals. He was all over the floor tonight.”

With Amar’e Stoudemire and Lin, two-fifths of the starting lineup, probably out for the rest of the regular season, the Knicks know they are up against it for the stretch drive. Exactly nine of those last 13 games will be against playoff-bound teams or clubs (Milwaukee) that are just one spot in the standings away from playoff contention. And, eight of the 13 are on the road against those tough teams.

Woodson, it appears, will be pushing his injured forces to the finish line the way General Robert E. Lee tried to drive his confederate soldiers. And, we all know how that ended.

“We need to keep going,” he said. “We just have to keep coming together as a team. Getting healthy is the most important thing. Take it one game at a time.”

These injuries could not have come at a worse moment, with the Knicks just 2 ½ games ahead of the Bucks in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. For Lin and Stoudemire, they could only hope their healthier teammates will step up their games in anticipation of their return, whenever that may be.

 

 

 

 

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