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Tyson Chandler is back.
|After missing 20 games with a fractured fibula, Tyson Chandler is ready to return to the Knicks.|
He was the starting center when the New York Knicks took on the Bucks in Milwaukee on Wednesday night.
"I'm excited," he said before the morning shoot around. "It's been way too long. I've watched way too much basketball from the sideline. I'm looking forward to getting back out there and helping my team out."
Chandler has been out since Nov. 5 with a small nondisplaced fracture of his right fibula. Counting Monday, the Knicks are 6-14 without their starting center.
Coach Mike Woodson said he will proceed with caution when it comes to his big man.
"I'm going to start him tonight," Woodson said. "We're just going to try gauge it and see how he's playing and moving. I'm sure he'll let us know. I'm sure he'll be winded early. We'll probably give him six, seven minutes early and then bring him back."
Chandler said he's going to work his way back in, trying to get his timing and explosiveness back.
"I'm sure at the beginning of the game, I may run into a little conditioning, just from more of the excitement of being back on the floor," he said. "I'll gauge myself. I'll be smart about it. If I ever feel fatigued, I'll take myself out. I know I'm no good to my team out there like that. I'm sure coach will bounce me in and out of the game."
Woodson is counting on Chandler's presence in the low post defensively and his ability to spark the offense and Chandler expects the same.
"I think we can do more things in transition," he said. "I always like to get out in transition, especially get into a pick and roll and we can open some things up. Defensively, just being that example out there for the guys. Trying to call out plays, call out what we're trying to accomplish, pick-and-rolls, things like that. I just try to make guys out there comfortable."
Joe Totoraitis is a contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.