All of a sudden, Linsanity has come to a halt. And this time it wasn’t the result of a bad shooting night for Jeremy Lin ’10 or any opponent’s strong defensive performance. Instead, it was his meniscus.
On Saturday afternoon, the New York Knicks announced that Lin has a small, chronic meniscus tear, an injury that will require surgery and a six-week healing process.
“I can’t really do much, can’t really cut or jump,” Lin said. “So it’s pretty clear that I won’t be able to help the team unless I get this fixed right now. It’s disappointing for me. It’s hard to watch the games. And I think I want to be out there, obviously, more than anything, to help the team.”
That length of time will, unfortunately for the Knicks, span the remainder of regular season. The Harvard alum’s injury is one of many for the ballclub right now, as fellow-starter Amar’e Stoudemire is on the disabled list for the foreseeable future with a bulging disk in his back. Add Baron Davis’s continual injuries to the mix, and you’ve got quite the depleted Knicks team.
“It is a big blow,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said shortly before his team’s Saturday evening game. “He was starting to come as a player...We got to go on.”
Lin, since his Feb. 4 breakout against the New Jersey Nets, has a +128 plus/minus, the second highest on the team behind center Tyson Chandler’s +134. This stat puts into numbers the emotional lift that he has given his Knicks since that fateful Nets game.
“It [stinks] not being able to be out there with the team,” Lin said. “And you know, it is what it is and so hopefully I can come back as soon as I can and help everybody.”
But unless the Knicks can maintain the momentum that Lin has given them thus far, they may not even qualify for the postseason. With 14 games left in the season and the team clinging to only a game and a half lead over the Milwaukee Bucks for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern conference playoffs, postseason play is not guaranteed for this organization by any means.
So, for now, the puns, the drives to the basket, and the handshakes, will have to be put on hold. All Lin can do is hope that this linjury doesn’t put an end to his team’s play like it has to his.