The Knicks announced on Wednesday afternoon, following a new round of X-rays, that Rasheed Wallace will miss at least the next eight weeks following a surgical procedure that he’ll undergo sometime next week.
The injury to the fifth metatarsal of his left foot, also known as a Jones fracture, has kept him out of the lineup since Dec. 15. The veteran forward has only played in 20 games this season and has averaged 7.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game in 14.6 minutes of action. But it’s what the 6-foot-11 forward offers in ways of intangibles that the Knicks have sorely missed in the last two months.
Wallace is an excellent help-defender, a great communicator on both defense and offense and enough of a 3-point threat (32.4 percent) and shot-blocker (almost a block per game) to keep opponents honest on both ends of the floor.
About the only good news that comes from this new development is that Wallace should be back just as the playoffs commence. Where the Knicks will be seeded, however, is of greater concern, as they’re in a fight to regain the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference — a position they held for most of the season, only to lose it to the Pacers within the last week.
The Knicks signed free agent power forward Kenyon Martin last week as insurance should Wallace be unable to return this season.
» Carmelo Anthony sat out of Wednesday’s shootaround because of a stomach virus, although head coach Mike Woodson insists that Anthony is probable and will likely play against the Warriors.
» Point guard Pablo Prigioni is a game-time decision, Wednesday, because of some lingering back spasms. The 35-year old rookie has battled through toe and various other injuries so far this season, so it’s likely he’ll suit up and be able to play.
Follow Knicks beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.