Jared Jeffries has inflamed right knee

Updated: March 24, 2012, 7:31 PM ET
By Jared Zwerling | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- New York Knicks backup center Jared Jeffries is out approximately two weeks because of inflammation in his right knee, the team announced before facing the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night.

An MRI Saturday afternoon revealed the extent of the injury suffered during the Knicks' 82-79 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.

Knicks coach Mike Woodson didn't take the news all that well, saying Jeffries does "a lot of things to anchor our bench defensively."

It's now Jeffries' second setback with his right knee in the past three weeks. He exited the Knicks' game against the Dallas Mavericks on March 6 with a sore right knee.

"I'm a little disappointed," Woodson said, "but it gives other guys an opportunity to step up, like Josh (Harrellson). We've just got to take it a day at a time and welcome him back when he's healthy."

While Jeffries' averages of 4.7 points and 4.2 rebounds don't jump out, the Knicks play better defensively when he's on the court. According to ESPN Stats & Info, they have a 95.0 defensive efficiency vs. 99.6 when he's off it (the lower the better) and a 20.1 opponent turnover rate vs. 16.9. In addition, this season Jeffries is among the league leaders in both charges drawn (10) and total offensive fouls drawn (24).

As for Harrellson, he's played sparingly since his March 6 return from a fractured right wrist, but that's mostly because the Knicks have a deep rotation. In addition to his strength as a 3-point shooter (34.6 percent), he's been effective on the glass (4.1 rebounds per game in only 15 minutes) and on defense, including a two-steals performance guarding Nowitzki in that Mavericks game.

Woodson also said that he would not be afraid to play third-string big man Jerome Jordan if the opportunity presented itself.

"Would I be scared to throw him in there if we got in foul trouble and needed to use him?" Woodson said. "Absolutely not. I think he can give us some positive minutes, but not big minutes. He just hasn't played enough. We've talked about possibly sending him down to get a couple of games under his belt in the D-League just to stay sharp. We'll see."

Jared Zwerling is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.

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