Tyson Chandler ended the preseason in the worst possible way: on crutches and without knowing if he will be available for next week's season opener in Brooklyn.

Chandler suffered a left knee injury in the first minute of the Knicks' 97-95 overtime win against the Nets Wednesday night in the preseason finale for both teams at the Nassau Coliseum. Chandler, the NBA's reigning Defensive Player of the Year, will have an MRI on Thursday in New York. The Knicks are calling Chandler's injury a sore knee, but the veteran center believes it is a sprain.

"I stretched my knee out a little and it was awkward," Chandler said. "I'm taking precautions until I get an MRI so I will be on crutches. I do not want it to get worse. They tell me to stay off my knee until I get an MRI."

Losing Chandler could be devastating to a Knicks team that will be without Amar'e Stoudemire for at least two weeks with a knee injury. Chandler's backup, Marcus Camby, missed the entire preseason with a calf injury, and fellow big man Rasheed Wallace — who is healthy — hasn't appeared in an NBA game in two years. Kurt Thomas, who at 40 is the NBA's oldest player, could be the Knicks' opening night center.

"I just didn't want it to be anything," Chandler added. "We've got bodies down. I felt great before the start of the game and I wanted to set a tone leading to the first game of the season. I wanted to be out there. It was more so that I knew they weren't going to let me come back so (there was) more of that frustration."

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