PHILADELPHIA — See you after the All-Star break.
As expected, Mitchell Robinson wasn’t cleared to play after a recent re-evaluation of his broken right thumb. There’s still no return date for the center, but the Knicks ruled him out for three games after Friday against the Sixers.
“It’s going to take time to heal,” Robinson said. “After the All-Star break is what it is.”
Team owner James Dolan said on Jan. 26 that Robinson would be out about four more weeks, which would project the return as Feb 24 at the Wizards — the first game after the All-Star break.
Robinson said he started shooting with a splint but can’t absorb contact.
“We didn’t get to that point yet,” Robinson said. “But I’m pretty sure we’ll do that right after the All-Star break.”
Coach Tom Thibodeau said Robinson is “ramped up” with his conditioning, which is an encouraging sign the 24-year-old can return to games quickly after being cleared for contact.
Before Friday’s game in Philly, the Knicks were 5-5 since Robinson fractured his thumb against the Wizards on Jan. 18. Jericho Sims and Isaiah Hartenstein have filled in as a two-man platoon at center, seemingly alternating between good and bad performances.
It’s been effective enough to keep the Knicks afloat, but Robinson is their best option as a rebounder and rim protector. He’s also their most expensive and injury prone.
The thumb surgery was the second on his right hand in two years. He also underwent surgery on his foot in 2021 and has missed 70 games in the last three seasons.
For his current injury, Robinson said his thumb connected with the ball as Washington’s Bradley Beal drove to the hoop.
“[The pain] was instant,” Robinson said. “It was a feeling like damn near two years ago when the same thing happened [when he broke his hand against the Wizards]. Same team. Same half. Same spot on the court. That’s just crazy.”
CAM’S EXILE NOT PERSONAL
It was only business.
That was Tom Thibodeau’s retrospect explanation for benching Reddish in the last two months before the forward was traded to the Blazers.
“Just coach’s decision,” Thibodeau said. “When you get in there, you have the opportunity to play and you got to play well and the team has to function well when you’re on the floor. There were some good moments, but there were some moments that maybe weren’t as good as we would’ve hoped. Maybe the inconsistency more than anything else. But as I said, I like Cam a lot.”
Thibodeau previously denied a report that Reddish complained about his role to an assistant coach early in the season when he was playing.
The Knicks gave up a first-round pick to acquire Reddish in 2021, then gave up a first-round pick Thursday to send him to the Blazers for guard Josh Hart.
NO HART DEBUT
Josh Hart passed his physical and met his new team in Philadelphia but arrived late and Thibodeau didn’t feel comfortable throwing him into Friday’s game.
Thibodeau was again non-committal on whether Hart will be a starter.
“We’ll see how it works,” Thibodeau said. “We’ve got to work him in first so there’ll be a working-in period first.
JALEN BRUNSON SNUBBED AGAIN
The Knicks point guard was not among the three injury replacements for the All-Star game, but he may have another opportunity.
Toronto’s Pascal Siakam, Minnesota’s Anthony Edwards and Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox replaced the injured trio of Kevin Durant, Zion Williamson and Steph Curry.
Boston’s Jaylen Brown, who suffered a facial injury Thursday, is unsure of his status for the All-Star game. If he’s out, Brunson, Jimmy Butler and James Harden are the leading candidates for the spot.
Source: Berkshire mont
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