Chandler may miss Game 1

New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler is battling the flu and could miss Game 1 of the team's playoff series against the Miami Heat on Saturday.

Interim coach Mike Woodson told reporters in Miami there is a "strong possibility" the defensive stopper won't play.

"Yesterday, he basically slept and didn't eat much and tried to keep as much fluids in him as possible," Woodson said. "We'll know more tomorrow."

If Chandler isn't available, Woodson said Jared Jeffries, who is battling a nagging knee injury, may start in his place. Another option would be going with a small lineup, the coach said.

Chandler has been battling a sore knee and a left wrist injury for several weeks, and sat out the team's regular-season finale on Thursday to rest. He did not practice on Friday, and was seen wearing a surgical mask to prevent the spread of germs, Amare Stoudemire said.

Carmelo Anthony said he expects Chandler to play.

"He's a little ill, but he'll be with me tomorrow. We don't really care about today. As long as he's with me tomorrow, we'll be fine," Anthony said.

Chandler, who won an NBA title with the Dallas Mavericks last season and came to New York in an offseason sign-and-trade deal, is a pivotal piece for the Knicks. He has helped transform New York's defense from a mediocre unit to one of the top five in the NBA.

Woodson said that Chandler will be re-evaluated prior to Saturday's 3:30 p.m. ET tipoff.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.