Knicks Rumors: Marcus Camby's Injury Makes New York's Roster Dangerously Thin

Tim KeeneyContributor IOctober 23, 2012

Sept. 30, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Basketball player Marcus Camby attends the game between the New York Jets and the San Francisco 49ers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Remember when the New York Knicks stacked up an incredibly deep roster? Yeah, me neither. 

Preseason expectations for Mike Woodson's squad reached significant heights, but the injury bug has taken a large bite of the roster in the past few weeks.

The most recent victim is Marcus Camby, who was originally supposed to return for opening night, but is seeing his status continually downgraded.

From the New York Post's Marc Berman:

Not only will Amar'e Stoudemire miss the Nov. 1 season opener, but Knicks coach Mike Woodson declined to guarantee that ailing Marcus Camby will suit up in Brooklyn, either.

Camby has been shelved since the fourth day of training camp with a left calf strain, but expectations are that he'll return to practice Tuesday after the Knicks' three-game road trip concludes in Syracuse against the 76ers.

But Woodson indicated that Camby wasn't quite ready at the morning shootaround at the Carrier Dome. When asked if he'll be ready for the opener, Woodson said, "don't know. That I don't know." Woodson said the concern is making sure Camby's calf "doesn't become a nagging problem that lasts throughout the season."

Add Camby's expected absence to Amar'e Stoudemire's three-week injury and Rasheed Wallace's bout with old age, and the Knicks' frontcourt is becoming dangerously thin.

If Woodson decides to keep Carmelo Anthony at the 3, then Kurt Thomas, who averaged 15.2 minutes per game last season, will have to start and log his minutes at the 4. Tyson Chandler, as always, would start at the 5.

Then things get a little tricky. 

Sharpshooter Steve Novak can spell both Anthony and Thomas, but say Anthony and Chandler both get 40 minutes—a dangerous amount of minutes so early in the season—there would still be 64 minutes to go around between Novak, Thomas and 28-year-old rookie Chris Copeland. 

Copeland has proven during the preseason that he can play, but if I told you in the summer that he, Novak and Thomas would each log 20-plus minutes in the season opener, you probably wouldn't be happy about it. 

Throw in the fact that Iman Shumpert is out, J.R. Smith is hurting and Ronnie Brewer is just returning to practice, and Knicks fans have to be counting their lucky stars that Glen Grunwald and company at least acquired such incredible depth this summer. 

Now, all of these problems are strictly short term, but let this serve as a warning that New York could be getting off to a very slow start this season.