CURRY INJURES SHOULDER
MIGHT MISS MOST OF PRESEASON
By MARC BERMAN
AILING EDDY: Eddy Curry, who injured his right shoulder yesterday, was scheduled to have an MRI exam last night in Columbia, S.C.October 8, 2007 -- CHARLESTON - The dark cloud that hovers over the Knicks widened yesterday when Eddy Curry suffered a right-shoulder injury that could force him to miss a bulk of preseason.
Curry was scheduled to take an MRI last night at a Columbia, S.C., hospital. The scariest part is the Knicks have no idea how long he could miss until they see the MRI.
It leaves them crossing their fingers in hopes the injury is not severe, though they don't believe it's a season-ending torn rotator cuff.
"I'm definitely not going to rush it for preseason," Curry said.
"I'm just going to make sure it's healed and make sure I'm 100 percent going into the regular season."
Curry called it a "sharp pain, a grinding kind of pain, sensation."
"We don't think it's anything that's going to be season-ending," Curry added.
"We think this is something that's going to take a little bit of rehab, maybe."
The Knicks open their exhibition schedule tonight vs. the Sixers with their franchise center on the sidelines.
Curry injured the shoulder during a one-on-one low-post drill Friday, when he got entangled with David Lee.
If the diagnosis forces Curry to miss a chunk of preseason, it's a stinging setback.
This was supposed to be the time he and Zach Randolph were to develop chemistry, with the entire NBA wondering if the two low-post players can coexist.
As the Knicks broke training camp yesterday at the College of Charleston, the Curry development was par for the course, capping a tragic week in Knicks history that began with their defeat in federal court on sexual harassment charges Tuesday.
When Isiah Thomas arrived in Charleston Tuesday night, it began raining, and rained for three straight days.
Even on Day 5 of camp, Thomas was on the phone with Rev. Al Sharpton, who had called for a Knicks boycott."It (stinks)," Curry said of potentially missing preseason games and bonding with Randolph.
"We definitely were looking forward to playing out there. It's a little bit of a blow."
The Knicks also will be without backup center Jerome James (knee tendinitis) tonight.
That could leave quasi-rookie Randolph Morris the starting center.
Curry said he felt a "sharp pain, a grinding kind of pain sensation" after the entanglement but finished practice after taking a two-minute break. Friday night, the shoulder began hurting again and he sat out yesterday's camp finale.
"I was dunking, I was playing," Curry said. "Everything was cool.
"That's why we don't think it's nothing like major-major. But there's definitely pain and we want to see what's wrong."
Thomas was not willing to concede anything.
"We've still got a lot of time left," Thomas said. "Before you bury him, let's wait and see what the doctors say."
Jared Jeffries, who wears No. 20, said he'll give his jersey number up to Allan Houston when he joins the team this week. Jeffries will go back to wearing No. 1, his number in Washington.
Jeffries didn't wear No. 1 when he joined the Knicks because it was taken by Steve Francis, now in Houston.
Sixers executive Larry Brown may be in attendance tonight.
Thomas stopped talking to Brown while they were both employed by the Knicks, during their pre-draft workouts before the 2006 draft. When asked if he'd speak to Brown, Thomas' face soured. "Yeah, sure."
About 2,000 tickets are still available for the Knicks' preseason home opener Thursday vs. Maccabi Tel Aviv that will benefit Israeli children's charities.