Knicks 'zzone

Newsday's Al Iannazzone takes you inside the Knicks.

Iman Shumpert relieved his knee is fine

Iman Shumpert of the New York Knicks reacts

Iman Shumpert of the New York Knicks reacts to a foul call in the second half against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Madison Square Garden. (March 7, 2013) (Credit: Getty)

TORONTO – Iman Shumpert went from being scared to feeling relieved.

When he heard the pop in his surgically repaired left knee Wednesday against the Magic, he started thinking bad things.

“That was the first time I was actually scared,” said Shumpert, who tore his left ACL in last year's playoffs. Other times it hadn’t felt as strong, but that was the first time I got scared. I thought something went wrong. But I’m fine.”

After he was examined, the Knicks’ medical staff told Shumpert that it was scar tissue and that he could play tonight against the Raptors.

“It was a big relief for me, just peace of mind for me,” Shumper said. “They said that it would happen again. As long as I know that every time it pops it’s not something terrible.”

Clearly the Knicks, who can clinch a playoff spot with a tonight, can’t afford any more injuries.

They’re already without Tyson Chandler (bulging disc) and have lost Amar’e Stoudemire (right-knee surgery), Rasheed Wallace (left-foot surgery) and Kurt Thomas (stress reaction/stress reaction right foot) for at least the rest of the regular season.

Shumpert is the Knicks’ youngest player and someone Mike Woodson will rely on defensively in the playoffs, guarding the opposition’s better wing players.

He missed the first 2 ½ months of the season after rehabbing from surgery and of late has started to look more comfortable with his shot and on defense.

“He’s had his ups and downs,” Woodson said. “I’m just trying to get the minutes that he plays, try to make them positive minutes for us. I think he’s been pretty positive here of late. He’s shot the ball well and he’s moving around defensively. I’m pretty pleased in that regard.”


Chandler stayed back in New York to get treatment. Woodson isn’t sure when Chandler will return.

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