Injury-riddled Knicks center Ronny Turiaf suffered a broken finger in his left hand and is expected to be out for about 4 to 6 weeks, which could cause him to miss the start of training camp if the NBA lockout is resolved in time. Training camps are scheduled to open during the last week of September, but that could be delayed as a result of the lockout.
The injury ocurred while Turiaf was going for a rebound playing for France on Tuesday against Great Britain in an Olympic Test event in London.
MVP247.com, the website for a London-based basketball magazine, first reported the injury, which tests revealed was a broken metacarpal in the left hand -- Turiaf shoots with his right hand -- and said Turiaf is expected to miss the upcoming EuroBasket tournament.
The website also reported that Turiaf, who is from Martinique and has French citizenship, will withdraw if further tests show "lasting damage."
France head coach Vincent Collet told MVP247, “The hypothetical withdrawal of Ronny Turiaf, a player who is as important on the court as he is off it, could be a real blow to France. I can only imagine how disappointed and frustrated Ronny would be to miss the EuroBasket. If he has to withdraw, we will see how to fill the void. For the time being I do not want to bring myself to think he is not a part of the team.”
Of course the Knicks can't bring Turiaf in for evaluation because, with the ongoing NBA lockout, teams are not permitted to have contact with their players. Turiaf, currently the only experienced center on the Knicks roster, has one year and $4.3 million left on his contract. Last season, his first with the Knicks, Turiaf appeared in 64 games and missed 17 because of myriad injuries, ranging from a sprained left knee, a hip contusion, a sprained right ankle and a strained left ankle.
On the rare ocassion that he was healthy, the 6-10, 240-pound Turiaf was very effective as a rugged, energetic big man alongside Amar'e Stoudemire in the Knicks' frontcourt.
Technically, Turiaf can not be considered the first casualty of the lockout because he had planned to play for France this summer regardless of the labor situation. So, for those who may ask, this wouldn't be a situation where the Knicks could void his contract if he is physically unable to play when the lockout ends.