Andrea Bargnani out indefinitely with torn ligament in left elbow
GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Not only are the Knicks losing game after game, they're losing player after player.
A day after their fifth straight loss, the Knicks announced Thursday that Andrea Bargnani has a torn ligament in his left elbow and is out indefinitely.
He suffered the injury with 2:33 remaining in the third quarter of Wednesday's 110-106 loss to the 76ers when he drove, was fouled while attempting to dunk the ball and fell hard on the elbow.
Bargnani hit the two free throws, finished out the quarter and played the first three minutes of the fourth. He had one of his best games in weeks, totaling 20 points and four blocks.
Bargnani, who has started 39 of the Knicks' 42 games, is their second-leading scorer, averaging 13.3 points. He and Iman Shumpert are the only two Knicks to play in every game.
The injury, which was revealed in an MRI Thursday, was just another piece of bad news for a Knicks frontcourt that already is missing forwards Amar'e Stoudemire, Kenyon Martin and Metta World Peace because of injuries.
World Peace, who has a sore left knee, hopes to return next week after undergoing platelet-rich plasma therapy. Stoudemire and Martin, who suffered ankle injuries on Jan. 16, are not expected to return until Feb. 1 at the earliest.
The Knicks (15-27), who have lost the first three games of an eight-game homestand, head into Friday night's game against Charlotte with Tyson Chandler, Jeremy Tyler and Cole Aldrich as their only healthy bigs.
Chandler, Carmelo Anthony and Raymond Felton did not take part in the team's nearly three-hour practice and video session Thursday because of a scheduled recovery day.
In recent days, Anthony repeatedly has said he is getting frustrated with all the losing, but coach Mike Woodson said he knows where Anthony stands.
"Melo, I think, is on board. I know he's on board," he said. "Melo has been a major bright spot for our ballclub this year. He hasn't missed any games really and he's been there every game trying to help us win games. I know he's going to be there. He's going to be there until the bitter end -- if it's a bitter end . . . We've just got to make sure that everybody else is on board."
Chandler is the one player who hasn't seemed to be on board lately. The center has publicly questioned his coach's defensive schemes, which call for players to do a lot of switching.
On his weekly appearance on ESPN New York radio, Woodson said he had a good talk with Chandler.
"[Chandler] challenging me, I challenge players, Melo challenging effort, I think it's healthy," Woodson said. "I am not going to sit here and let the media tear up our team inside with what we are trying to do. My thing is I got to keep guys in place, keep guys playing hard and keep guys believing that we can still make the playoffs. That's the goal."
Notes & quotes: When asked about recent reports that he has asked to be traded, third-string point guard Beno Udrih said after practice that his "first option" is to remain a Knick. Said Udrih: "I'm a Knick. I've always been a professional and I'm going to stay a professional." . . . Anthony and Chandler have been named to the 28-player Team USA basketball pool.