Jeremy Lin will undergo an operation on his left knee early next week. (Photo/Xinhua)
Jeremy Lin's fairytale season with the New York Knicks may have come to a premature end after the popular point guard decided to have surgery to fix a troublesome knee.
Lin will undergo an operation on his left knee in New York early next week to repair a small meniscus tear, and is expected to face six weeks of rehabilitation after the procedure, the Knicks announced Saturday prior to their game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
"It's just another bump in the road," Lin said. "It sucks."
Lin was thankful, however, that the injury did not occur early in the year, before he was given an opportunity to show himself to the basketball world. "I don't know where my career would be (had that happened). I could be, would be definitely without a job and probably fighting for a summer league spot."
"But having said that," Lin added, "this happening now hurts just as much, because all the players, we really put our heart and souls into the team and into the season...and to not be there in the end when it really matters most is hard," he said.
"When I come back, I'll be stronger than I ever was," Lin said.
Lin first complained of a sore knee during the Knicks' 101-79 victory over the Detroit Pistons on March 24. The team originally said the pain was caused by wear-and-tear after a run of four games in five days, but MRI exams later revealed a small chronic meniscus tear in his left knee. Knicks interim head coach Mike Woodson described Lin's injury as "a big blow."
"We're just going to have to make do until he's able to get back into uniform," he was quoted as saying by the AP. "He's a big piece of our puzzle."
Lin will miss the rest of the regular season, which ends April 26, but he held out hope that he might be able to play again this year if the Knicks make a deep playoff run. The team currently holds the eighth and final playoff spot in the NBA's Eastern Conference, with a 2.5-game lead over the Milwaukee Bucks, after beating the Cavaliers 91-75 in New York Saturday night.
The 23-year-old undrafted Harvard graduate — the first American of Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA — took the world by storm in February when he helped the Knicks to a seven-game winning streak. His performance and meteoric rise to stardom kicked off the worldwide "Linsanity" phenomenon.
"This season has been a lot of ups and a lot of downs," Lin said of his breakout year. "It's obviously been a very emotional year.