Four games into the season, Tyson Chandler suffered a small non-displaced fracture of his right fibula. While the Knicks would go on to win the game against the Charlotte Bobcats, New York has gone 3-11 during his absence and are patiently waiting to see if his return will turn the season around.
Coming off a 41-point home loss to the Celtics on Sunday, the Knicks finally received good news about the former Defensive Player of the Year. After one month, Chandler returned to practice and participated in all-non contract drills according to Newsday’s Al Iannazzone:
Knicks say Tyson Chandler participated in all-non contact drills today.
— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) December 9, 2013
After practice, Chandler expects to be back before the end of the year according to Newsday’s Barbara Barker:
Tyson said he expects to be back before new year. #Knicks
— Barbara Barker (@meanbarb) December 9, 2013
Without Chandler, the Knicks have no defensive presence in the paint and it ultimately led to a nine-game losing streak in November. While most thought the team turned it around with two blowout victories by an average of 34 points against the Nets and Magic, the Knicks were embarrassed by 41 points at home against the rebuilding Celtics.
When Chandler finally returns, the Knicks are hoping that he will help turn this season around. Despite the 5-14 start, New York is only 3.5 games out of first place in the Atlantic division and eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.