Tyson Chandler questionable as Knicks visit Celtics, who are missing Kevin Garnett

Tyson Chandler of the Knicks tries to convince

Tyson Chandler of the Knicks tries to convince referee Brian Forte that he was fouled. (Jan. 21, 2013) (Credit: David Pokress)

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The Knicks will not see Kevin Garnett in either of their two matchups with the Celtics in the next six days, starting with Tuesday night's game in Boston.

Whether the Celtics will see Tyson Chandler is up in the air. Chandler, who has missed the last six games with a bulging disc in his neck and bruised knee, is questionable.

After practice Monday, Chandler said the knee is healed but the neck still is a pain in the neck.

"I can feel it a little bit, but I'm not worried about just a little pain," he said. "I don't want to be back in a predicament where I come back and then I'm out for a week or so. When I'm back, I want to be back."

Chandler sat out as the Knicks -- winners of four straight -- went through their paces in practice. He later worked on some post defense against Chris Copeland and said "there's definitely a chance" he will play Tuesday night.

Asked what he needs to see before he returns, Chandler said: "I need to not go into a spasm whenever I'm in a vulnerable position, whether I'm reaching to block a shot or in a defensive stance. Right now, it's still a little sore. Hopefully, go through shootaround [Tuesday] and see from there."

Still, with the playoffs starting next month, this is the time of year when teams are more reluctant to push their stars' bodies. The Celtics are giving Garnett two weeks to rest the inflammation in his left ankle, team president of basketball operations Danny Ainge told Boston-area reporters Monday.

Chandler said the injury to his neck occurred when he was hit by Denver's Kenneth Faried on March 13. Later in the same game, Chandler collided with Corey Brewer, bruised his knee and left the game.

"It's tough watching games," Chandler said. "It's a little better right now since we're winning, but it's really tough watching my teammates out there fighting and not being able to be out there. It's kind of a thing where all of me wants to be out there obviously with my teammates, but then again, I've got to be smart for my teammates."

Kenyon Martin has been starting, and starring, in Chandler's absence. Martin, 35, shot 9-for-10 and had 19 points and 11 rebounds Friday in Toronto as the Knicks clinched a playoff berth. "I love it," Chandler said. "I can't wait to get out there and play alongside him."

 

Howard heads MSG SportsDave Howard, who served as the Mets' executive vice president of business operations and general counsel during his 20 years with the club, has been named president of MSG Sports, effective April 9.

Howard, a Rockville Centre resident, succeeds Scott O'Neil, who left on Sept. 12, 2012, after four years. He will be responsible for the business operations of the Knicks, Rangers, Liberty and Connecticut Whale, and the management of the company's Sports Properties unit.---- Steve Zipay

The Dolan family owns

controlling interests in the Knicks, Rangers,

Madison Square

Garden and Cablevision.

Cablevision owns Newsday.

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