Raymond Felton Injury: Updates on Knicks Guard's Ribs, Back and Recovery

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIApril 2, 2014

New York Knicks' Raymond Felton looks at the scoreboard during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Friday, March 28, 2014, in Phoenix. The Suns won 112-88. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Matt York

Updates from Thursday, April 3

Fred Kerber of the New York Post provides a statement from Raymond Felton discussing his injury status:

“Honestly, my elbow don’t hurt at all,” Felton said. “It’s my ribs on the right side. It was pretty bad so that’s what I’m dealing with right now.”

Felton, who vowed to play Friday against Washington after a day of rest, returned with 9:55 left in the 110-81 rout of the Nets at the Garden.

“I want to play. I want to be out there,” he said. “You still got to tear my legs off my limbs for me not to go out and play.”

Original Text

New York Knicks point guard Raymond Felton exited Wednesday's pivotal intrastate showdown with the Brooklyn Nets at Madison Square Garden with a contused back and ribs in the third quarter.

The Knicks' official PR Twitter feed reported the news, indicating that Felton's return to the floor was questionable:

Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com then observed that Felton returned to the bench wrapped up:

It's unlikely New York would press Felton into duty any further since it held a commanding 25-point halftime lead. The veteran was a minimal contributor to the cause as it was, producing just three points, three rebounds and two assists in 17 minutes of action.

Felton's conditioning has been called into question in the past, leading Zach Harper of CBS Sports to poke a bit of fun at Felton:

However, the former top draft pick isn't giving up on this season, as he implied after the team's recent win over the Golden State Warriors, which was then backed up by a victory over the Utah Jazz.

"We were asking ourselves, What are we going to do?" said Felton, per the New York Times' Scott Cacciola. "Are we going to get this, or are we going to fold up and go home?"

Apparently Felton answered his own open-ended question on Wednesday, returning in the fourth quarter despite the Knicks' massive lead. Chris Herring of the Wall Street Journal reported on that surprising development, and Al Iannazzone of Newsday set the scene in the Garden:

There is still a shot for the Knicks to make the postseason in the weak Eastern Conference, but all their remaining games are against teams that have already secured playoff berths and are fighting for certain seeds. If Felton is to miss extended time, his backup, Pablo Prigioni, would be tasked with running the offense.

That may be a bit of fresh air for New York, because Felton's play has been criticized this season. Entering Wednesday's contest, he was shooting worse than 40 percent from the field, yet he was averaging 5.7 assists to just 2.1 turnovers.

Felton is a capable distributor, but he doesn't match up well in the current NBA, which is as deep as any time in recent memory at point guard. Whether he's on the floor or not, the Knicks' chances at the postseason seem slim even with a great chance to win against the Nets.