Shumpert day-to-day after ankle sprain

Iman Shumpert thinks he'll play on Sunday against the Miami Heat. But neither he nor the Knicks can be sure of that after he turned his right ankle in Friday night's win over the Wizards.

"It's day-to-day," Shumpert said. "So I should be alright."

Shumpert suffered the injury with six minutes to play in the third quarter when he landed awkwardly.

"It was just a sprain," he said.

But any injury right now is costly for the Knicks, who are in a tie with Philadelphia for seventh place in the Eastern Conference and three games behind division-leading Boston with seven games to play.

Losing Shumpert would certainly hurt.

The 21-year-old rookie is a valuable piece for the Knicks as he'semerged as one of the top young perimeter defenders in the league.

He's also playing big minutes late in games under Mike Woodson, who has gone with a backcourt of Shumpert and J.R. Smith to close out games recently.

If Shumpert can't play, the Knicks would need Smith to step into Shumpert's role as a perimeter defender. He would probably have to guard Dwyane Wade on Sunday.

But, as he walked out of the locker room on Friday night, Shumpert seemed optimistic about playing.

"I'm walking around, I'll be alright," Shumpert said. "It's just a safety precaution because I turned it.... In my head, I think I'm playing."

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