<
>

Break comes at right time for banged-up Knicks

Each time someone or something hit Raymond Felton’s left knuckle over the past two months, he’d feel a pinch of pain.

“Each and every game, each and every play,” Felton said late Wednesday night.

So, like many of his Knick teammates, Felton is looking forward to four days away from basketball this weekend.

Felton will use the break due to the NBA’s All-Star Weekend as a time to heal the nagging injury.

"I'm just going to rest and relax," he said.

Felton initially injured his hand in the Knicks’ loss to Boston on Dec. 15. It was clear that the injury affected him in the month of January, when he shot 37% from the field and played his way out of a spot on the Eastern Conference All-Star team.

So instead of going to Los Angeles this weekend, Felton will spend time with his son at home, all the while resting his banged up knuckle.

“We’ll see what happens after I get some rest,” Felton said.

Wilson Chandler is looking forward to a little R & R as well. The fourth-year forward was forced to miss three games in late January and early February due to left hip and ankle injuries.

He said last week that he was "90%" healthy. Chandler hopes that both injuries will be 100% healed when the Knicks return to practice early next week.

Chandler has worn wraps on his calf and ankle during games. Knicks trainers have given him a routine to treat the calf and ankle injuries, which he’ll closely adhere to over the break.

“Just a lot of ice and stretching,” Chandler said.

Reserve forward Shawne Williams had to be helped off the court in fourth quarter of Wednesday’s win over the Hawks after a knee-to-knee collision with Jamal Crawford. He was tended to by Knicks trainer Roger Hinds.

Williams said that he was fine after the game. But Hinds caught up with Williams on the way out of the locker room and told him to monitor the injury over the next few days.

Just add him to the list.

But the one Knick who probably needs the rest the most - Amare Stoudemire - won't get it. Stoudemire, who missed last Saturday's win over the Nets with a sprained right toe and has suffered minor knee tweaks this season, said after Wednesday’s game that he is healthy enough to participate in the All-Star Game.