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New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin sits on the floor after a hard foul by the Dallas Mavericks during the second half of their NBA game in Dallas, Texas, on March 6. Lin will miss at least the next six weeks due to a torn miniscus in his knee. [Mike Stone / Reuters]
Jeremy Lin's astonishing break-out campaign with the New York Knicks has been cut short by a left knee injury that needs surgery, the National Basketball Association team said on Saturday.
The Knicks said Lin would be sidelined some six weeks after an MRI revealed a small chronic meniscus tear for which he will undergo an arthroscopic procedure.
That would have him missing the rest of the NBA regular season, which ends on April 26, and perhaps the first round of the playoffs - if indeed the Knicks reach the postseason.
The Knicks, who beat Cleveland 91-75 on Saturday, are holding on to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
"We've got to go on," interim coach Mike Woodson said. "He's a big piece to our puzzle and what we were doing as of late, before he went out."
Lin's knee isn't Woodson's only injury concern.
Forward Amare Stoudemire is currently sidelined by a bulging disk in his lower back.
"When I come back I'll be stronger than I ever was and a better player," Lin vowed at a press conference prior to the game against the Cavaliers.
However, he added that it was a bitter blow to be sidelined as the lockout-shortened season draws to a close.
"This happening now hurts," Lin said.
"All the players, we really put our heart and soul into the team and into the season, and to not be there at the end when it really matters most, is hard."
The 23-year-old Lin was an NBA unknown when he shot to prominence in February, getting the starting nod from then-coach Mike D'Antoni and energizing a flagging Knicks team.
Lin, who was born in California to parents from Taiwan, became an international sensation.
He said last week that he'd felt pain in his knee after the Knicks played a stretch of four games in five nights and he had missed three games before Saturday's announcement.
Agence France-Presse in New York