Chandler 'getting close' to return

NEW YORK -- Tyson Chandler could return to the court as early as Wednesday against Milwaukee, Mike Woodson said.

Chandler is expected to participate in a full practice on Tuesday. He may get a chance to scrimmage 5-on-5 for the first time.

"He's close, he's getting close," Woodson said before tipoff on Monday.

Chandler has been out since Nov. 5 with a small nondisplaced fracture of his right fibula. Entering play Monday, the Knicks had gone 6-13 without their starting center. They've struggled on both sides of the ball with Chandler out. His absence has been felt most acutely on defense. New York ranks 25th in points allowed per 100 possessions.

Chandler was originally scheduled to miss four to six weeks. Wednesday would be exactly six weeks from the day the Knicks announced his timetable.

"We've just got to see how he fares [in practice Tuesday]," Woodson said. "If he doesn't have any setbacks [Tuesday], then he might play [Wednesday]."

The coach added that he's anxious to get Chandler back so he can get an idea of what the Knicks look like when they're closer to full health.

"We just haven’t been able to have a full deck yet. Hopefully we’ll be able to get there eventually," Woodson said.

No timetable for Kenyon: Also on the injury front, it sounds like Kenyon Martin will be out for at least a week due to an abdominal strain.

Martin has missed two games since suffering the injury on Friday in Boston.

Woodson was asked before Monday's tipoff if Martin could be out one or two weeks.

"I would think somewhere in that neighborhood but again that could change," Woodson said. "But they haven't given me an indication on how long it's going to be."

The Knicks can ill afford to lose Martin for an extended period. He's one of the few players on the roster who can defend the rim and rebound.

Martin is also dealing with a chronic ankle issue.

Woodson added that Amar'e Stoudemire was "fine" after playing four games in five nights last week for the first time this season.

The Knicks have taken a cautious approach with Stoudemire in an effort to protect his oft-injured knees.

"We’re not out of the woods," Woodson said. "We’ve just got to continue to monitor him and he’s got to give us the feedback to let us kind of know where he is physically. We’ll react accordingly."

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.