NEW YORK -- Jared Jeffries, counted on to help shore up the Knicks' defense, will miss six to eight weeks because of a broken left wrist.
Jeffries was hurt last Friday against New Jersey in his New York debut and had an MRI exam Sunday. Knicks coach Isiah Thomas originally said that Jeffries would miss three to six weeks, but the longer prognosis was given after Jeffries saw a hand specialist Monday.
Thomas signed the former Washington swingman over the summer to strengthen a team that allowed 102 points per game last season, 27th in the NBA. Jeffries was expected to be the starting small forward.
"We'll try to find some other players to do the things that he does," Thomas said Tuesday. "The things that Jared brings to the table, he does instinctively and he's a natural. We'll have to try to find some other guys who really like to play defense. But there aren't a lot of those guys around."
Jalen Rose was the starting small forward Tuesday night in the Knicks' preseason game against Boston. Quentin Richardson and first-round draft pick Renaldo Balkman also figure to get time at that spot until Jeffries returns.
"We won't have to change our style of play," Thomas said. "Fortunately for us, we play with interchangeable parts. We have
guys who are capable of playing two or three positions. Again, they may not do it as well as he does it, [but] we won't have to change our style of play."