Tyson Chandler injury: Center expects to play in Knicks' opener

Al Bello

Tyson Chandler expects to be ready to start in the New York Knicks' season opener, whenever it is played, after missing a week with a bone bruise. Marcus Camby's calf injury is also healing, although its unclear whether he'd play Friday.

One benefit of a postponed season opener for the New York Knicks is that centers Tyson Chandler and Marcus Camby will have additional time to heal from various bumps and bruises, with Chandler feeling ready to start when the season is supposed to begin Friday night against the Miami Heat.

Chandler bruised a bone in his left knee in the Knicks' final preseason game Wednesday and went seven days without participating in full contact drills. He might have been ready to play in the original opener scheduled for Thursday night, but now the big man feels more certain that he'll be good to go with an extra day:

"I think I'm going to be fine. [I] played with contact today. (I'm) not as explosive as I normally am out there ... but (I'm) good enough to give my team something and I feel good enough to protect myself."

Camby was supposed to be a backup for Chandler, but hurt his calf in the first week of training camp and missed every one of the Knicks' preseason games. Coach Mike Woodson hadn't been optimistic about the 38-year-old's ability to play in the originally scheduled opener, but the additional day of practice for the player in his second stint with the Knicks can only help.

With Amar'e Stoudemire out for 6-8 weeks after an arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, Chandler and Camby constitute most of the team's center depth. Rasheed Wallace also didn't play in any preseason games, and his status is uncertain going forward. Besides those three, there isn't really anybody on the team who could conceivably play center in an NBA game.

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