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Turiaf (ankle) doubtful for Monday night

The undersized Knicks may be short-staffed on the front line against Dwight Howard tonight.

The team says center Ronny Turiaf is doubtful with a strained right ankle.

The injury forced Turiaf to miss Saturday night’s 114-106 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats. Mike D’Antoni, who started Shawne Williams in place of Turiaf against Charlotte, was not ready to announce his starting lineup on Monday morning. D’Antoni noted that all 15 of his players are healthy, so maybe that’s a good sign for Turiaf.

Monday night would be a tough time for the team to be missing one of its tallest players.

Howard dominated the Knicks in the teams’ last meeting – a 111-99 Magic win at the Garden on March 23. Howard had 33 points and 11 rebounds in 41 minutes in that game. He had 30 points and 16 rebounds in Orlando’s 116-110 win over the Knicks on March 1.

Turiaf missed three games in early February with the ankle ailment. If he sits Monday, it will be his 16th game missed due to injury. The Knicks are 7-8 without Turiaf. They enter play Monday at 35-38, three games below .500 for the first time since Nov. 19.

Turiaf is averaging three rebounds and one block per game on the season.