It is a blow to the Knicks, who have been among the strongest teams this so far this season. While Carmelo Anthony has been mostly brilliant, it has been Felton’s open-court speed and floor generalship that has been significant to their success.
“This is not a season-ending injury,” Felton told reporters in Phoenix, according to Newsday. “It’s something that will last four to six weeks at the most.”
Felton, who is averaging 15.8 points and 6.3 assists, broke his right pinkie finger in the third quarter when he and Steve Nash dove for a loose ball in the Los Angeles Lakers’ Christmas Day win over New York. X-rays revealed the fracture.
He flew back from the West Coast Thursday to meet with a doctor to determine if surgery is needed; the team went on to Sacramento.
“I may need surgery,” Felton told reporters, according to the New York Post. “I got to do what’s best for my hand so I can get back and help this team.”
With Felton sidelined, savvy veteran and future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd started in Felton’s place in Phoenix Wednesday, when J.R. Smith hit a jump shot at the buzzer. Kidd, 39, was outstanding with 23 points, eight assists and six rebounds in 31 minutes. The Knicks are 21-8.
“We just have to go back and assess it and see where we are and go from there, but again, like I said, injuries occur,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. “Key guys get banged up here and there, and we have enough guys on our team that guys just got to step up and play until guys get back. That’s how it’s got to be.”