Tyson Chandler said he expects to be back before New Year's

By Royce Young | NBA writer

Tyson Chandler hasn't played since a Nov. 5 loss to the Bobcats. (Getty Images)
Tyson Chandler hasn't played since a Nov. 5 loss to the Bobcats. (Getty Images)

The countdown to 2014 is already on for Knicks fans.

Tyson Chandler, who has been out five weeks with a fractured leg, told reporters on Monday he expects to be back in the lineup before New Year's.

His original timetable was 4-6 weeks, so that would put him on the very back end of that, even a little over it.

The Knicks have been crumbling as of late, falling to 5-14 after a 41-point beatdown by the Celtics at Madison Square Garden on Sunday. I'm not sure even Chandler would've made much difference there.

But he is a high-impact player, particularly on the defensive end, where the Knicks are currently 25th in defensive efficiency (104.1 points allowed per 100 possessions). Getting him back would aid in Mike Woodson's rotations, get Andrea Bargnani off the floor as a center and allow Woodson to use Carmelo Anthony more at power forward, a position he seems best suited to play at.

Chandler, 31, is averaging 7.3 points and 9.0 rebounds in four games this season.

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