New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson hated to see Kurt Thomas go.

New York released the NBA's oldest player Friday, a necessary move with the team gearing up for the NBA playoffs.

"It's a major loss because Kurt is a major part of what we're doing here," Woodson said before the Knicks faced the Cleveland Cavaliers. "But we had to let him go because he won't be able to play in the playoffs."

The 40-year-old has been sidelined the past month with a stress fracture in his right foot. He missed 12 games.

In a release, New York general manager Glen Grunwald said the team let Thomas go "due to a rash of injuries to our big men, we felt that it was important for us to free up a spot on our roster."

The Knicks filled the roster opening by signing free agent Solomon Jones, who previously played for Woodson with the Atlanta Hawks. The 6-10 center had been playing in China.