New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler is unlikely to return from a bulging disk in his cervical spine on Wednesday against the Memphis Grizzlies, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. Even worse, Chandler said that he has been experiencing sensations down into his shoulder, a sign that the injury may be a bit more severe than initially thought.
Chandler finally returned to practice on Monday after injuring his knee and neck two weeks ago against the Denver Nuggets. He thought that he would have a chance to play on Tuesday against the Boston Celtics, but he knew immediately after practice that he was not ready:
"The whole point was to test it and see how it felt [Monday],'' Chandler said in the visitor's locker room before the Knicks' 100-85 win over the Celtics last night at TD North Garden. "Afterwards I knew my body wasn't ready. Late afternoon. I started to have the same symptoms [Monday] night and this morning. I knew right away I wasn't quite there. It runs down my neck and shoulder.''
Leading spine specialist Dr. Wellington Hsu of Northwestern University Hospital told Berman last week that an injury like Chandler's is not all that serious when it's contained to just the neck. But Hsu said it is more severe when there are sensations that travel down into the shoulder and arm, which is certainly not good news for Knicks fans.
The Knicks have done just fine without Chandler, winning five-straight games. However, the competition has not been the stiffest, and any chance of a deep playoff run is likely shot if Chandler is not in top form. The team is likely to be very cautious with the big man in order to get him as healthy as possible for the postseason.