Apr 7, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; New York Knicks guard Pablo Prigioni (9) attempts a shot against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka (9) during the first half at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Pablo Prigioni's Status in doubt for Game 1 vs. Celtics

It’s no secret that New York Knicks’ point guard Pablo Prigioni has provided the Knicks a spark down the stretch.

Since being inserted into the starting lineup, the Knicks have gone an impressive 16-2 to close out the regular season and claim the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Apr 15, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; New York Knicks point guard Pablo Prigioni (9) dribbles the ball during the first half against the Charlotte Bobcats at Time Warner Arena. Mandatory Credit: Curtis Wilson-USA TODAY Sports

In addition to providing solid point guard play at both ends of the floor, Prigioni has been one of the few Knicks players that have been relatively healthy all season long.

That is until now.

Prigioni suffered a sprained right ankle at the tail end of the first quarter on Wednesday night against the Hawks. He went down with 51 seconds to go in the quarter, appearing to roll his ankle on a jump-stop near the rim.

He was tended to by the team training staff and walked to the locker room with a noticeable limp.

The team says X-rays came back negative, which is good news, but when Prigioni can return to the lineup is anyone’s guess.

He has a couple days to allow the ankle to rest as the Knicks begin postseason play Saturday afternoon against the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden.

Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said before Wednesday’s night’s game that Prigioni would be in the starting lineup for the playoffs, but after the game said his status is unknown for Saturday.

If Prigioni is forced to miss any playoff games it would be a shame.

He’s been one of the healthiest Knicks players all season long and to lose him in a meaningless regular season game is awful. That’s not to mention the fact that the Knicks are a much better team when he is on the floor.

Hopefully that ankle heals quickly and Prigioni will be on the floor Saturday when the Knicks start their playoff run.

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