|Tuesday, October 15
McDyess out indefinitely, surgery likely Wednesday
ESPN.com news services
NEW YORK -- The news keeps getting worse for the New York Knicks, whose miserable preseason has turned downright disastrous.
Antonio McDyess has a fractured kneecap that will sideline him indefinitely. Knicks president Scott Layden said McDyess will likely have surgery and will be out "for an extended period."
"Naturally, he's totally disappointed and somewhat devastated," coach Don Chaney said.
The injury was initially diagnosed as a hyperextension, but an MRI exam revealed the fracture.
McDyess is expected to have surgery on his broken left kneecap on Wednesday. The team is hopeful he will be able to return before the end of the season. The injury is a fresh break, unrelated to the injury to the same knee that sidelined him for most of the 2001-2002 season.
McDyess went down clutching his left knee after dunking with 1:55 remaining Saturday night in a preseason loss to the Phoenix Suns.
He is the second Knicks starter to be sidelined by an injury. Latrell Sprewell arrived for training camp with a broken hand, and the Knicks fined him $250,000 and told him to stay away from the team for failing to report the injury in a timely manner.
In addition, Kurt Thomas missed the first practice of training camp after being arrested following an altercation with his wife at their Connecticut home.
The loss of McDyess is more devastating than any of the team's other problems. After being acquired in a five-player trade on draft night, he was expected to be the type of dominating low-post presence the Knicks have lacked since Patrick Ewing's heyday.
In three preseason games, the 6-foot-9 forward averaged 17.7 and 13.0 rebounds.
"Knick fans had only seen a glimmer of his superior skills," Layden said.
Sprewell is not expected to return until mid-November at the earliest, and there's no telling when he might eventually team up with McDyess.
McDyess will get a second opinion, and a course of treatment will then be determined. Layden said there was no damage to the patella tendon that was repaired a year ago.
"Our medical staff feels this is not a career-threatening injury," Layden said.
The injury happened suddenly in the closing minutes of an otherwise meaningless game. After dunking a miss by teammate Howard Eisley, McDyess fell to the floor. He was able to limp off the court under his own power, slamming the scorer's table with his hand as he headed to the locker room.
It was not clear precisely how McDyess sustained the injury, although Knicks team Dr. Norman Scott believes he hurt the knee on his takeoff before dunking, team spokesman Jonathan Supranowitz said.
Because the game was not televised, the only replays available came from in-house cameras.
"It's very hard to determine on the tape whether he came down hard on it or banged it," Chaney said.
Chaney explained that he kept some of his starters in the game late into the fourth quarter because the Suns were using an eight-man rotation, sticking with their best players.
"We felt that he had already endured a week of two-a-days, and I have no reservations about putting him in the game at that time," Chaney said.
The Knicks do not have much depth in the frontcourt, making the task of replacing McDyess all the more difficult. Othella Harrington could move into the starting lineup at power forward, or the Knicks could start Doleac in the middle and move Thomas from center to power forward.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.