Surgery to sideline Walker for 4-6 weeks

New York Knicks forward Bill Walker will have surgery to repair his injured left elbow on Monday and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks, the Knicks announced on Sunday.

Walker has been out since Feb. 19 with what the team called a sore left elbow. Mike D'Antoni said the team hoped that Walker would improve without surgery. But he hadn't been able to practice since he first went out with the injury so they decided to put him under the knife.

"He just needs to get well," the coach said.

D'Antoni hopes to have Walker back before the playoffs.

Walker averaged 6.1 points and 2.7 rebounds in 20 minutes for the Knicks.

It's unlikely that Walker would have played major minutes with the team as currently constituted. The Knicks have 11 players they'd like to include in their rotation. There is a glut at shooting guard and small forward, two positions where Walker plays mostly. J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert have split minutes at both positions in the Knicks' second unit.

And it seems to be working. New York's bench scored 50 points on Wednesday in a win over Cleveland.

With the trade deadline approaching, the Knicks may have looked to move Walker because, with Smith and Shumpert healthy, there wasn't a role for him. But the surgery would make that move much more difficult.

It's unclear when Walker first suffered the injury.

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