Knicks Appear Likely To Play At Madison Square Garden Friday Night

It seems likely that the New York Knicks will be able to play at Madison Square Garden Friday night when they are scheduled to host the Washington Wizards.

The Knicks game Tuesday at MSG against the Orlando Magic was cancelled due to an asbestos scare after debris fell to the playing surface during maintenance work related to the renovation currently underway at the Garden.

"I don't know what will happen," said team president Donnie Walsh. "We're going to play in Chicago (Thursday) and when we come back, we'll know one way or another."

But Mayor Bloomberg, who praised Madison Square Garden executives on Wednesday for putting public safety first, indicated that the Garden will be able to reopen its doors for the game against the Wizards.

"If they made any mistakes, they were mistakes in the direction of being cautious and they should be commended for that," Bloomberg said. "They did not put their own interests or the team's interest ahead of any conceivable safety issue."

The city's Department of Environmental Protection performed air-quality tests at the iconic arena on Tuesday afternoon and reported that the dust that triggered two detectors did not contain asbestos.

"It turns out that our Department of Environmental Protection is very satisfied that there was no asbestos there, there were no risks, and if we had more time before they had to make a decision on the game, perhaps they wouldn't have even canceled the game," Bloomberg said.

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