New York Knicks shooting guard Arron Afflalo has a mild left hamstring strain and is likely to miss the next two weeks because of it.
While the team says that Afflalo’s status is day-to-day, the 30-year old guard told reporters yesterday that it may take two weeks for his hamstring to completely heal.
“I want to say I guess I just have to give it another two weeks or so, but it’s hard to judge” Afflalo said. “I’m just going to go based on how I feel and with what the medical staff tells me.”
Discomfort in Afflalo’s left hamstring caused him to miss time at training camp, but he returned to play in the final three preseason games. He scored 10 points in 19 minutes Thursday night in New York’s preseason finale against Boston. He felt so good that he asked to play into the second half. However, the extra work proved costly to the Knicks and Afflalo as he would once again reaggravate his left hamstring strain.
He insisted he would do everything he can to get back on the court, and even had some hope to be ready for opening night on Wednesday against the Milwaukee Bucks.
“I feel better. Just a little disappointed in not being able to progress but it’s OK. Just trying to go day-to-day with it,” said Afflalo. “Sometimes, hamstrings can be tricky. If there’s a strain, it takes the right amount of time to heal. I felt great, but obviously, I’ve got to let it get to 100 percent.”
Carmelo Anthony agrees with Afflalo in taking the proper time to fully heal from the injury.
“We don’t know if he’s going to sit out or if Arron’s going to play or not. To be honest, if it’s lingering, then I’d rather him sit out,” Anthony said. “The season’s about to start and we’ve got a long journey. So there’s other guys on this team and we brought them here for a reason. … I’d rather let him heal. He’ll be all right.”
Afflalo was one of Phil Jackson’s key acquisitions, signed to a two-year deal for $16 million. He averaged 15.2 points and more than 30 minutes per game during his last five seasons and is expected to take some of the scoring burden off Carmelo Anthony.
“He’s a guy who can play multiple spots on the court, just having him play at the top of the offense. If we need to post him up, he can post. If we need to put him at the wing, we can put him at the wing. If we need him to bring the ball up, he can bring the ball up,” Anthony said. “He’s very multi-dimensional.”
Coach Derek Fisher indicated he has other players capable to replace Afflalo. The likely candidates are Sasha Vujacic, Jerian Grant and Langston Galloway. Vujacic seems like the most likely one to get the nod as he started in Afflalo’s absence during the preseason.
“All of those guys will have an opportunity if Arron is limited or can’t go,” said Fisher.