kmartKnicks forward, Kenyon Martin suffered a left ankle sprain in the fourth quarter of yesterdays Atlantic Division title clinching whomping of the Washington Wizards and will miss tomorrow’s contest against the Bulls. Though bolstered by the hope that he will likely miss little time, it is an injury that further depletes the overachieving band of wounded Knicks who uncharacteristically and improbably are riding a 13-game winning streak.

Martin started yesterday’s game in place of the injured Tyson Chandler, whose neck soreness due to a bulging cervical disc seems only to keep him out intermittently, or in for limited minutes when he does participate. The same held true for Chandler, whose minutes had been monitored to avoid (overly) exacerbating his already sore left knee. These guys are playing in spite of some level of discomfort (read pain) and in all likelihood, suboptimal function. The sum of the injured parts is evidently greater than the whole.

Playing with an ankle sprain certainly limits balance as well as mobility: speed, ability to quickly change direction and to jump. Landings can be especially precarious and unstable. Swelling can inhibit strength and even with taping, a ligament injury, even a mild one with little tearing, can present with significant impairment for an athlete. Though it isn’t likely that Martin came down awkwardly on his left foot because of his left knee condition, if he comes back too quickly (and he is likely to), the left ankle issue could lead to further issues with the left knee. Altering mechanics to favor one injured area leads to obvious and undue stresses to other areas.

The Knicks are already pushing the boundaries of success without the contributions of Amar’e Stoudemire (following right knee debridement), Marcus Camby (left plantar fasciitis), Rasheed Wallace (following surgery for a fractured left fifth metatarsal), and Kurt Thomas (stress reaction in his right foot). Carmelo Anthony, who tied Bernard King’s team record for most consecutive 35-point games (at five), accomplished that feat yesterday after missing time just weeks ago both prior to and just following having his right knee drained on March 14th. After all the criticism, perhaps Melo is a man on a mission, attempting to almost single-handedly carry this club to the Division title, home court advantage and, unimaginably only four weeks ago, deep into the playoffs.

Knicks’ fans and players are focusing on the short-term. The outcomes of injuries and the tolls they will take on these aging stars appears pushed to a dormant level of consciousness.

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About the author

Abby serves as the Injury Expert for CBS New York where, since 2010, her Injury Breakdown Blog examines injuries in professional sports. She also blogs on health & fitness as well as sports injuries for Huffington Post, and Recovery Physical, where her blog earned a top ten mention for physical therapy blogs in 2012 @ In a ranking of the Top 30 Healthcare Blogs for 2012, Top Masters in Healthcare also rated Abby’s blog in the top three in Physical Therapy! Abby is the founder of Fit-Screen and she welcomes your comments and questions!