Jeremy Lin Sidelined Up To Six Weeks
Nearly as quickly the “Linsanity” craze captured the imagination of New York and the entire country, it has come to an abrupt end; and is now on an indefinite hiatus.
The New York Knicks announced this evening that Jeremy Lin had an MRI earlier this week on his left knee which revealed a small, chronic meniscal tear. Lin will have an arthroscopy. He will be out approximately six weeks.
This constitutes a terrible blow for the Knicks, who are attempting to hang on to the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. Already missing Amar’e Stoudemire due to a bad back, New York will now also finds themselves without their dynamic, playmaking point guard, and the odds on favorite to win the NBA Most Improved Player Award.
Head Coach Mike Woodson addressed the issue with reporters prior to the Knicks Saturday night showdown with the struggling Cavs. “We have got to go on, but he is a big piece of our puzzle and what we’re doing as of late before he actually went out. All is not bad. We got three veteran point guards sitting over there and the rookie we can play some at the point. We’re just gonna have to make due until he’s ready to get back in the uniform, but it is a big blow. He was starting to come as a player. It’s not a career-ending injury. Plenty of people play with meniscus problems. You’ve got to eventually have surgery when this happens. He’s going to have it and he’ll bounce backs,” said Woodson.
Lin also spoke to the gathered media and discussed the injury and what ultimately led to his decision to undergo surgery. “I had an MRI after the Detroit game on Monday and it showed I had a lateral meniscus tear, so our goal was to give it about five to seven days to see how it would react and to see if I could play on it for the rest of the season. I knew I was going to have surgery at some point whether it was now or after the season, so me and trainers and the medical staff did a lot of rehab, pretty much all day, on the plane, during games and in the morning and night.”
Lin continued: “We did everything we could. Today was the one-week mark, so this morning I got on the court to see how it would feel and that’s why I haven’t been able to really talk about this injury until now because the decision was made this morning. So, I can’t really do much, I can’t really cut or jump so it’s pretty clear that I won’t be able to help the team unless I get this fixed right now.”
“It’s disappointing for me. It’s hard to watch the game and I think I want to be out there, obviously, more than anything to help the team. It’s a six-week rehab process but I tend to heal fast so hopefully I can come back as soon as possible and still contribute this season… It sucks not being able to be out there with the team. It is what it is.”
Jeremy also addressed his future and stated he was very confident that the injury wouldn’t have any long-term implications. “When I come back I’ll be stronger than I ever was. I’ll be a better player. I’m not even worried about that right now. It’s not like a career-ending thing or it’s not something that would bother me. Once it’s fixed, it’s fixed. It’s the most simple surgery you can have, so I’m more concerned about this season.”
Although he’ll be a free agent this summer (the Knicks do control his rights), Lin indicated his preference would be to stay in NYC next season and beyond. “New York, the way that the city, that the fans, the writers, the media, everybody, it’s been an unbelievable journey. I would love to keep this team together, everybody, top to bottom. I think we’re growing as a team. We’re finding an identity. We’re getting better and we have so much potential, we have so much talent and I think it’s a process in terms of reaching our potential.”
As far as the Knicks immediate future is concerned, Woodson will have to rely heavily on veteran Baron Davis, who has dealt with his own injury issues (back, hamstring) this season. Coach Woodson did say he would also play Toney Douglas and Mike Bibby more frequently, and also utilize rookie Iman Shumpert at the point, as he didn’t want to “burn out Baron.”